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Former manager tells Liverpool to do a thorough search for Jurgen Klopp successor before fixating on a name

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By Siddharth Juyal

Rafa Benitez urged Liverpool to do a thorough search for the successor of Jurgen Klopp amid the media frenzy around Xabi Alonso

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez argued that there are many good managers other than Xabi Alonso, hidden from the limelight. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp announced that he is stepping back from the managerial role at the end of the season.

The fallout from that news is touting many top managers worldwide to succeed the German. Xabi has been the frontrunner to succeed in the club as he is guiding his current club Bayer Leverkusen to success.

Leverkusen have been unbeaten this season, leading at the top of the Bundesliga table ahead of Bayern Munich. The German club appointed Alonso as their manager last season when they fell to the relegation zone.

Bayern Munich plan to rival Liverpool for the signature of Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso after potentially sacking Thomas Tuchel.
Xabi Alonso has built Bayer Leverkusen into a formidable team that could topple the dominance of Bayern Munich this season. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

The Spaniard guided the club to a respectable finish at sixth position last season, achieving the Europa League qualification. He used the summer transfer window to make several shrewd signings and bolster the squad, leading to this season’s success.

Currently unbeaten, Leverkusen have played entertaining football with a philosophy similar to Klopp’s gegenpressing alongside a mixture of possessional play. Alonso has shown the astute tactical knowledge that he gained from several top managers during his playing days.

As a professional footballer, the 42-year-old has played under Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Benitez himself. He uses both a direct attacking approach and methodical possessional play in different phases of the game.

Benitez told The Athletic that Liverpool should avoid social media noise around Alonso to make their choice for Klopp’s successor. He said:

“For sure and even more now with social media, everything goes much quicker. I’m now a better coach than I was in the past. There is a lot of noise around Xabi Alonso at the moment, but there are lots of other good coaches not so much in the media spotlight. Teams have to choose not what is trending on social media, but the characteristics they need and the stability and path they want for their team.”

Social media noise is not the only reason that makes Alonso, a firm favorite to succeed Klopp at Liverpool. The 42-year-old has a strong personal bond with the Kopites and understands the value and “the Liverpool way”.

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The Spaniard’s playing philosophy aligns with the preferred philosophy at Anfield, and his tactical acumen represents a significant advantage. Alonso left Liverpool under Benitez with a fallout between the player and the manager playing a big factor. We wonder if Benitez still holds some resentful feelings over what transpired more than a decade ago.