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Jurgen Klopp bomb might pave the way for Liverpool to bring in worthy Anfield successor

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By Siddharth Juyal

Destiny aligns Xabi Alonso with the role of Liverpool manager, making waiting seemingly pointless

Liverpool have four months to search for a worthy manager to succeed Jurgen Klopp with the familiar name of a beloved Spaniard, Xabi Alonso taking the spotlight. However, the current Bayer Leverkusen manager has few people doubting his readiness to secure the coveted job due to his “lack of experience” as a full-time manager.

The 42-year-old is currently guiding Leverkusen in his second season as a manager with his known desire to manage Liverpool somewhere down the line. Furthermore, we deduce whether Alonso’s “lack of experience” is a valid reason to doubt his credentials. Spoiler alert: It is not.

Promises fulfilled: Jurgen Klopp’s transformed the doubters into believers

Jurgen Klopp shocked the Liverpool fanbase and the football world when he announced his impending departure from the club. The 56-year-old reasoned that he is feeling completely burnt out and that is one thing no one can solve.

Klopp’s mental and physical health are of utmost importance for the fans, and everyone associated with the club. Nevertheless, the loss of their beloved manager is something that has no positive spin to it. We have to endure the harsh reality and feel the sadness of losing someone we deeply admire and adore.

The German leaves a lasting legacy behind, a legacy that made the fans call him the second coming of legendary manager Bill Shankly. Klopp has done everything that he promised when he signed for Liverpool back in 2015.

Destiny aligns Xabi Alonso with the role of Liverpool manager, making waiting seemingly pointless.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 28: Fans show appreciation to Juergen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool (not pictured) in the stands prior to the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Liverpool and Norwich City at Anfield on January 28, 2024 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

He turned doubters into believers, rejuvenated the culture of success, and taught us the power of positivity. When the pressure of fighting the superpowered Premier League clubs made us demand a practical and ruthless approach, he taught us that there is always room for sentiments and emotions. He demonstrated that we can achieve victories in the right way, ensuring Liverpool attracts genuine supporters, not glory hunters.

Search for a worthy successor

However, when our tears dry up and the legend walks away after this season, Liverpool needs a worthy successor. Liverpool needs someone capable of balancing tactical acumen, intelligence and ability to develop young guns with the culture and philosophy.

The Reds need a personality who understands “the Liverpool way” and someone who would stamp his identity while respecting what Klopp leaves behind. Liverpool are currently exploring links with several top managers boasting substantial reputations and experience to support their candidacy for the job.

The names include Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Tuchel, Jose Mourinho, and Zinedine Zidane. However, Alonso’s name is still the one that stands out the most among all the potential candidates.

Alonso’s history: A deep connection with Liverpool

Being a former Liverpool player, Alonso already has a deep connection with both the club and the fanbase. Additionally, the Spaniard has the respect of his peers, young players and experienced managers who have already achieved plenty.

Alonso grew up in a family of footballers with his father Periko Alonso, a former Spain international and professional manager. During his playing career, the 42-year-old attained more knowledge under the guidance of several top managers.

Destiny aligns Xabi Alonso with the role of Liverpool manager, making waiting seemingly pointless.
Xabi Alonso and Liverpool fans have a strong bond since his time at the club as a professional player.

Alonso earned a strong reputation and respect from his peers and many experienced world-class managers in Europe. He played under Rafa Benitez, Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola and acquired immense knowledge and managerial skills.

The 42-year-old started his managerial career with Real Sociedad B, taking the club from Segunda Division B to Segunda Division. Real Sociedad Bs achieved the promotion for the first time since the 1961-62 season.

The Spaniard joined Leverkusen in October 2022 when the team lurked at the relegation position in the Bundesliga. Leverkusen rejuvenated under his guidance and they are currently having a sensational season at the top of the Bundesliga.

Tactical mastery: Decoding Alonso’s preferred style of play

The German side are currently unbeaten in the Bundesliga, conceding only 14 goals so far while playing attacking football. Alonso prefers a 3-4-2-1 formation, using possessional play and build-up from the backline, dominating the opposition. The Reds already have the defenders with the profile that suits Alonso’s style of play from the backline.

The Spaniard uses two deep-lying playmakers right ahead of the back three while his fullbacks are partially right midfielders.

Alonso’s main attacking outlet at Leverkusen has been Jeremie Frimpong with some confusing him as the right attacking winger. It is due to the nature of his deployment as Alonso prefers a direct approach from the middle to the attacking phase.

Destiny aligns Xabi Alonso with the role of Liverpool manager, making waiting seemingly pointless.
FSG have turned the club’s fortunes arounf with smart investment. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

In Alonso’s possessional setup, the fullbacks play a crucial role, and many consider Alex Grimaldo the best signing for this position. The left wing-back acts as a playmaker while playing an inverted role contrary to Frimpong.

Alonso deploys two playmakers right behind his lead striker and they act as the outlet to exploit channels and create. Furthermore, they provide added body inside the opposition box when the attacking play is down the byline of either wing.

The 42-year-old emphasises the team’s organization and cohesiveness alongside counter-pressing philosophy. He studies his opposition and tinkers with his approaches, accordingly, showing the wisdom he has gained as a player.

Klopp is leaving a very diverse squad for Alonso to deploy his tactics as he sees fit. The new manager would get an ample amount of opportunity to sign the players according to their profile.

Rest assured, Alonso has covered the essential elements needed to be a successor to the German legend. Liverpool legend and Alonso’s former teammate Jamie Carragher has already given his approval while speaking to Sky Sports.

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Most of Liverpool’s fanbase on social media has given the same approval, and even the data supports him. Alonso’s tactical approach, the respect he governs and the connection he already has with the Reds make him a perfect candidate. The Spaniard has never hidden his love for Liverpool and considers himself a Liverpool fan despite playing for several top clubs.