Former Premier League striker and manager Paolo Di Canio has touted Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi as Jurgen Klopp’s potential successor at Liverpool.
The German is under contract at Anfield until 2026, although that hasn’t stopped some observers from looking beyond his reign on Merseyside to see who might succeed him.
Di Canio, who was in charge of Sunderland in the top flight for six months in 2013, has namechecked his compatriot as someone who could be the next Reds boss.
The 54-year-old told Tuttosport: “For the type of game he develops, he could be Klopp’s possible heir in the future in Liverpool.”
De Zerbi was parachuted in at Brighton last September after the abrupt departure of Graham Potter to Chelsea, but the 43-year-old has taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water.
His first game in charge of the Seagulls was actually against Liverpool in a 3-3 draw at Anfield, while he was twice the scourge of Klopp’s team in January, defeating them by a combined score of 5-1 across league and FA Cup action at the Amex Stadium.
His record against the Reds so far reads played three, won two, drawn one, with eight goals scored and four conceded, quickly establishing himself as something of a bogey manager for us.
As per Transfermarkt, only seven Premier League squads have a lower combined market value than Brighton’s, yet De Zerbi has them level on points with the Merseyside club and with a game in hand. Indeed, they’re just seven points off fourth-placed Tottenham with three games in hand.
He’s no stranger to the big stage either, having taken charge for almost 200 top-flight matches and managed in the Champions League (Transfermarkt).
The Italian is justifiably building a name for himself as one of the brightest coaches currently based in England, but while he could be a worthy contender for the Liverpool job in the future, hopefully Klopp won’t be leaving Anfield any time soon.
Despite the struggles of the current campaign, the German’s status as a hero in these parts is undisputed when considering the trophies he’s won, the breathtaking football we’ve often played on his watch and the manner in which he immediately got the Liverpudlian culture.