Danny Murphy believes that one current Premier League manager would be the ‘perfect’ choice to replace Jurgen Klopp when the Liverpool boss eventually leaves Anfield.
The 56-year-old has found himself linked with the Germany men’s national team vacancy following the weekend sacking of Hansi Flick, although his agent Marc Kosicke has insisted that the tactician won’t be changing jobs any time soon.
The speculation has nonetheless posed the question as to who’d eventually take over the reins on Merseyside once Klopp departs, and a former Reds midfielder has made the case for Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi.
Speaking on talkSPORT Breakfast, Murphy said: “I think De Zerbi is perfect. He’ll be ready then. I’ve been thinking about it for probably the last 60 seconds and that’s what I’ve come up with!
“He plays great football, he looks a strong character, he’s learning his trade in this league with Brighton and doing it superbly well. If Jurgen, which he isn’t, for some bizarre reason was to decide that was a good option for him, then I don’t see a better candidate.
“Things change in football really quickly, so the flavour of the month might be somebody else this time next year, but I think he’s the real deal. There’s something about him.
“After meeting him as well, he’s got real gravitas and a real presence about him and I love the way his team play. He seems to be able to adapt.
“We’ll see, but I can’t see Klopp going for quite some time yet. He’s just got this new influx of players that he seems really keen on and developing.”
Few managers have had a hex over Klopp quite like De Zerbi, whose record against the Liverpool boss is near-perfect. The 44-year-old has come up against the Reds three times before, with two wins and a draw for Brighton in those games on an aggregate scoreline of 8-4 (Transfermarkt).
The Italian’s stranglehold on us is no outlier, either, with the Seagulls qualifying for Europe for the first time in history on his watch.
It’s an achievement made all the more impressive by him taking the job mid-season as the south coast club urgently sought a replacement for Graham Potter, who defected to Chelsea this time last year for an ill-fated stint in west London and is currently out of work.
De Zerbi’s team have also made an impressive start to the current campaign, winning three of their first four matches, so the early signs are that their 2022/23 feats won’t be an aberration and that they could make European qualification a regular occurrence.
Hopefully we won’t have to seek out Klopp’s successor any time soon, with the German contracted to Liverpool until 2026. However, if the Brighton boss is still working wonders then, he certainly ought to be deemed a prime candidate to follow Alexis Mac Allister in swapping the Amex Stadium for Anfield.