Eight years, four trophies, and countless happy memories, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is finally leaving Liverpool at the end of the 2023-24 season. He announced his decision in a video message when he said he was running out of energy. This brings to an end an incredible career where he took Liverpool back to the zenith of domestic and European football.
However, in football, just like anything, the only permanent thing is change. Now Liverpool is looking for a successor, and here are the top names that could take the charge at Anfield next season.
Xabi Alonso- FootTheBall’s choice
If Liverpool fans had their way, the first choice is former player Xabi Alonso. The Spaniard has been as good a manager as he was a player, making Bayer Leverkusen one of the best attacking teams in Germany. His team currently are on course to end Bayern Munich’s dominance on the Bundeslida.
Alono’s style is also similar to Klopp’s as he encourages a high press reminiscent of the Gegenpressing deployed by the man who has helped Liverpool win one Champions League and Premier League.
While his managerial career is not going as strong as Alonso’s former Liverpool skipper Gerrard’s name has been linked more than once with the Liverpool job, the former England international has won the league title to his name, which he won with Rangers in the 2020-21 season.
On top of that, he has also worked his share of time at the Liverpool youth academy, where he impressed Jurgen Klopp. In fact, he was due for promotion to the reserves had he not gone to take the coaching gig in Scotland. The central question, though, remains is whether he can handle the demands of the Premier League, especially after his earlier spell with Aston Villa, where he was fired after winning only two games out of the opening 12 games.
Roberto De Zerbi
If Liverpool’s top hierarchy wants a manager similar to Klopp and has a wealth of Premier League experience, then coaxing Brighton’s Roberto de Zerbi to Anfield might be the best option. The Italian has made a monster of a team on a very small budget, and using the club’s impressive scouting network has turned young prospects into world-class stars.
De Zerbi is also a manager who has worked for years with the small teams where he polished his skills to become such a brilliant tactician. He started his career in Italy with clubs like Foggia and Benevento before going to Shakhtar and then joining Brighton. With the achievements that he has posted, it is time for him to take the final step, which is to join a club of Liverpool’s stature and finally win some trophies, which is something he deserves.
This might be the most unlikely of appointments if it were to happen. Over the last eight years, Liverpool’s identity has been based on attacking and high-pressing football. Jose Mourinho’s footballing philosophy is as far away from this as possible.
However, one thing that Mourinho has is his knack for winning trophies. On top of that, he also has a wealth of Premier League experience. His last spell at Tottenham didn’t go as he might have intended, but at Liverpool, he has a far better team that he could mould to his liking.
The underrated option for Liverpool could be to go for Royale Union Saint-Gilloise’s Alexander Blessin. In the 2021-22 season, the clubs surprised everyone by finishing top in the regular league season. However, few believe that they could repeat these heroics. Newly appointed manager Blessin, however, had different ideas, and in just his first year, he has taken the club back to the top.
Blessin started his career at the youth academy of Red Bull Leipzig, where many coaches have started their careers. He also took minnows K.V. Oostende to a fifth-placed finish in the Belgian league, for which he was selected as the manager of the year.