Liverpool journalist says Xabi Alonso is the "Big Favourite" to replace Jurgen Klopp
Amidst the speculation and anticipation, Liverpool journalist Neil Jones says Xabi Alonso is the leading candidate to fill Klopp's formidable shoes.
In an interview with the Daily Briefing, Jones shared his belief in Alonso's suitability for the role, citing his managerial acumen, tactical prowess, and deep-rooted connection with the club.
“I think Xabi Alonso is the big favourite for the Liverpool job at this stage, and he would be my choice too,” Jones said.
Full quotes from Neil Jones
Jones continued: "There isn’t a ‘guaranteed’ successor to Klopp available, in my eyes. Every manager out there, besides Pep Guardiola, comes with a degree of risk. Even seasoned winners like Carlo Ancelotti or Jose Mourinho, or a vastly-experienced coach like Thomas Tuchel or Diego Simeone, would not necessarily be the right fit for Liverpool, and for Liverpool’s squad, culture and supporters.
“I think it’s clear that both Alonso and Roberto De Zerbi are going to manage at the very top level at some point in the future, and so in my opinion the time is right for Liverpool to take the gamble and Alonso’s style of play, personality and past ties with the club make him the stronger candidate, for me.
“What he is doing this season, igniting an underachieving club against the giants of Bayern Munich is, dare I say, a little reminiscent of what Klopp did at Borussia Dortmund, and if he can finish the job off by winning the Bundesliga, it would only add further weight to the argument.
“Another to keep an eye on might be Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim, who I know has a lot of admirers in the Premier League. My question with that one would be; is the Primeira Liga adequate preparation for a job like Liverpool? Amorim has done a really good job and has shown an ability to develop both players and a cohesive, winning team, but Anfield would be another level in terms of pressure and expectation.”
Why Alonso would be the perfect Jurgen Klopp replacement
Alonso's tactical philosophy aligns seamlessly with Klopp's famed gegenpressing approach, emphasising high-intensity pressing and rapid transitions from defence to attack.
Both managers prioritise proactive, attacking football, instilling a relentless work ethic and collective unity within their teams.
Alonso's talents for man-management mirrors Klopp's renowned ability to foster strong relationships with his players, instilling belief and camaraderie on and off the pitch.
This has been a crucial element of Klopp's strategy at Anfield.
A striking resemblance exists between Klopp's dynamic 3-2-2-3 formation and Alonso's preferred 3-4-3 setup, further underscoring their tactical synergy.
Both systems prioritise fluidity, flexibility, and offensive dynamism, empowering players to express themselves creatively while maintaining defensive solidity.
Alonso's tactical ingenuity, honed through his experiences as a player and burgeoning manager, positions him as a natural successor to Klopp.
Importantly, Alonso's managerial exploits at Bayer Leverkusen offer a tantalising glimpse into his potential to shape Liverpool's destiny with distinction.
His ability to galvanise a previously underachieving club against the Bundesliga giants mirrors Klopp's transformative impact at Borussia Dortmund, hinting at the dawn of a new era of success for Liverpool.