Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has claimed that there exists no clear frontrunner to succeed Jurgen Klopp, as all potential candidates lack extensive managerial experience.
Klopp is expected to step down as manager of the Reds this summer, following his shock announcement last month.
While Liverpool are still contending for trophies in Klopp’s remaining months, as they participate in competitions on four fronts, the search for his successor at Anfield has already commenced.
Xabi Alonso emerges as the primary contender to assume the role for the 2024/25 season, with the 42-year-old Spaniard garnering favoritism among both bookmakers and supporters.
Currently at the helm of Bayer Leverkusen, Alonso leads a team undefeated atop the Bundesliga table. Leverkusen showcased their title aspirations with a commanding 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich, a match attended by Liverpool scouts.
Despite Murphy’s endorsement of Alonso as a potential candidate for the job, he remains skeptical that any contender fully satisfies the criteria to replace Klopp.
He said: “I think in an ideal world you’d want a manager coming in to Liverpool to take over Jurgen Klopp to have a bigger body of work, even if he [Alonso] wins it [the Bundesliga]
“Because like any footballer, you can have a purple patch, a wonderful season or two.
“In an ideal world, you’d want a manager coming in who’s got this wonderful body of work, had success all over he place and has every chance of doing what Klopp’s done because he’s done it before. But unfortunately I don’t think that candidate is out there that stands out. So, what you do then is go to the next box and go for somebody who looks like he’s going to be a world beater.
“Alonso at the moment what he’s doing at Leverkusen and the style in which he’s doing it looks like a super young coach with lots of quality. He’s got a team playing for him, got a nice style, easy on the eye, very articulate, calm, been at Liverpool before. He ticks a lot of boxes, but he doesn’t tick them all.
“So, the problem you’ve got is that nobody does that I can think of and that’s why I say I think Alonso will get the gig and rightly so in my opinion.”
Alonso, who graced the pitch for Liverpool from 2004 to 2009, transitioned into coaching post his retirement from professional play in 2017.
Initially, he took on the role of a youth coach at Real Madrid before ascending to the position of manager at Real Sociedad B. Under his guidance, the team achieved promotion in 2021.
During his tenure of just under 18 months at Leverkusen, the esteemed former midfielder boasts an impressive win rate of 64.7% across all competitions. Remarkably, his leadership has also steered the team to an undefeated streak in the ongoing season, as they vigorously pursue their maiden Bundesliga title in the club’s 119-year history.
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