Liverpool's next manager

Jurgen Klopp shocked the football world when he announced his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season. The German has turned Liverpool’s fortunes around since he took charge of the club in 2015. During his tenure with the English club, he has won eight titles and has played a vital part in bringing the lost glory back to Anfield. With his departure, the Liverpool owners have the daunting task of finding the rightful heir for their charismatic manager. Let’s find out about the candidates most likely to become Liverpool’s next manager.

Who will become Liverpool’s next manager?

Becoming Liverpool’s manager is quite a challenging job due to the rich history of the club and the expectations of the fans and all those associated with the club. There are plenty of managers in the football world who would be eyeing this job, but Liverpool owners need to be cautious about who they pick as their next manager.

The following candidates have a decent chance of taking over the helm at Liverpool next season.

 Xabi Alonso

Since Klopp’s announcement, Xabi Alonso has been heavily linked with a move to Merseyside. The Spaniard has been doing a marvellous job in the German Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen. His young side currently leads the German first division with an 11-point lead over the favourites Bayern Munich.

Furthermore, his side is yet to taste defeat this season and has stretched their unbeaten run to a record 33 games in all competitions. The 42-year-old only began his senior managerial career last season but has impressed a lot in his short stint so far.

He prefers to operate with a 3-4-1-2 formation with wingbacks serving as a crucial attacking outlet. Jurgen Klopp has also operated with a similar sort of philosophy with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson acting as a pivoting point in Liverpool’s attacks. Hence, one thing is certain, if Alonso becomes Liverpool’s next manager, we can expect a similar sort of attacking potency from the Reds’ fullbacks.

Moreover, Xabi Alonso has deep-lying affection for the Reds having represented them as a defensive midfielder back in his playing days. The Spaniard was part of the Liverpool squad from 2004 to 2009. During his time with the Reds, he featured in 143 games for them and won four trophies, including the famous 2005 UEFA Champions League triumph against Milan in Istanbul.

Given his past association with the club, Alonso would be interested in returning to Merseyside as a manager. But it won’t be easy for the Liverpool owners to lure him back to Anfield as his recent success with Bayer Leverkusen has attracted the attention of several top European clubs.

Bayern Munich have also emerged as a potential destination for Alonso, after they decided to part ways with their current manager, Thomas Tuchel, at the end of the season. Xabi Alonso is a great candidate to become Liverpool’s next manager, it would be interesting to see whether the Spaniard opts to return to the Premier League or stays in the Bundesliga.

Roberto De Zerbi

Roberto De Zerbi is another potential candidate to replace Jurgen Klopp next season for Liverpool. The Italian has done a splendid job as the manager of Brighton & Hove Albion in his one-and-a-half-year spell with the club.

The 44-year-old took over the reins from Graham Potter in September 2022 and broke various records in his debut season in the Premier League. The Italian guided the Seagulls to their highest-ever finish in the Premier League and managed to bring European football to the Amex Stadium for the first time in the club’s history.

De Zerbi is known for playing attacking football and likes operating with a 4-2-3-1 formation. His Brighton side scored 72 goals in the Premier League last season, with only Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool scoring more goals than the Seagulls.

De Zerbi has surely brought an attacking brand of football to the Premier League, something that must have caught the attention of Liverpool owners. But at the same time, Liverpool owners will be wary of the fact that his side has not been as sound defensively as Klopp’s Liverpool.

The Seagulls conceded 49 goals under De Zerbi’s management last season and have already conceded 41 goals this season with 12 games still left to be played. But in his defence, one might say that he has not had the privilege of spending the cash on expensive defenders as Klopp has been able to do. Nonetheless, he is surely going to be an interesting choice if the Reds decide to go with him as their manager for next season.

 Also Read: Assessing Liverpool’s Title Credentials: Can the Reds claim Premier League title?

 Unai Emery

Aston Villa’s manager, Unai Emery, is also expected to be in the running to take over Liverpool’s next manager seat for next season. His Aston Villa side is currently enjoying a brilliant run in the Premier League.

They find themselves in the UEFA Champions League spots and are five points clear of 5th-placed Tottenham Hotspur. They have also got a Round of 16 tie against Ajax in the UEFA Europa Conference League to look forward to next month too.

Aston Villa have been playing sensational football this season and have raised plenty of eyebrows recently with their performances on the field. Liverpool owners will also be keeping tabs on Unai Emery and must be keen to know how the rest of the season pans out for the Villans.

The Spaniard is a decent option to become Liverpool’s next manager because he has a wealth of managerial experience under his belt. The 52-year-old has 11 major honours to his name including four Europa League medals, the most any manager has managed to win so far.

The only concern for Liverpool owners regarding his appointment is that Unai has previously failed to make his mark in the Premier League with Arsenal. The Spaniard was appointed Arsenal’s head coach for the 2018-2019 season. Although he impressed in his first season by finishing in 5th place and reaching the UEFA Europa League final, he failed to replicate his performances the next season and was subsequently sacked in November 2019.

It seems like Unai finally understands the demands of the Premier League; hence his Aston Villa side is going strong in the Premier League in his second season with the club. If the Spaniard manages to secure a top-four finish for the Villans, he could be the right man to fill in Klopp’s shoes.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard is another manager who has an outside chance of being named Liverpool’s next manager. The Englishman has been a great servant for Liverpool in the past. His legacy with Liverpool needs no introduction as his association with the Reds has been etched into the red half of Merseyside’s faithful forever and will be cherished for years to come.

Although he has enjoyed a stellar career as a professional player, he has yet to show his mettle in the managerial circuit. The 43-year-old currently manages Al Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League. He does not seem to be having the best of times in Saudi Arabia as his side sits in 8th place in the league.

Before securing a job in Asia, Gerrard had a stint with Aston Villa in the Premier League. Unfortunately, he failed to make a mark in his debut season as the Villans finished in 14th place in the table. The next season his performance dipped further hence he was sacked from the job.

He did make a promising start to his managerial career when he guided Rangers FC to their first Scottish Premiership title in over a decade in the 2020-2021 season. His side not only managed to lift the title that season but they also did so without losing a single game and finished the season with 102 points.

Unfortunately, Gerrard has not been able to live up to his expectations and has struggled to make a name for himself as a manager so far. Nonetheless, a switch to Merseyside might kickstart his managerial career due to his affection for Liverpool. Reds owners also might be tempted to make a move for their legend in case other managers are unable to join the club.

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