Beyond Alonso: Assessing Some of the Outsiders to Replace Klopp

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There is one name looming large above all others in the race to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager – Xabi Alonso.

While the Reds’ former midfielder is the favourite to take the job, it is far from guaranteed that he does. In truth, there’s no end of other interesting options, ranging from Juliann Nagelsmann to Roberto De Zerbi to Zinedine Zidane. As time drags on, others will surely enter the frame.

Of course, there must be a balancing act. Alex Ferguson announced his retirement in 2013 after Manchester United had secured the title that season; Klopp has announced his intentions with Liverpool locked in a title race. For the moment, Liverpool fans will be more concerned with the ebb and flow of the Premier League odds as they fight with Arsenal and Man City for the title than the next manager markets, but it goes without saying that it’s important for the future of the club.

While you get the impression that Alonso would be many fans’ choice, we don’t always get what we want in life or football. In light of that, we’ve identified five names hovering around the periphery of the discussion and who may enter the frame should the current Bayer Leverkusen boss not become the chosen one.

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Ruben Amorim

The Sporting Lisbon coach is now considered one of Europe’s hottest properties in the managerial market. While he recently tried to pour cold water on the idea of joining the Reds, the bookmakers seem to believe it’s still possible.

Amorim has been nothing short of mercurial at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, securing their first league title in almost two decades and improving their European performances. While Sporting is a historic club, the budget on which they operate is light years away from the upper echelons of the Premier League. It feels like a case of when, not if, the 39-year-old gets a chance to shine at one of Europe’s heavyweights.

Simone Inzaghi

The current Inter boss seems happy in Milan, and his side are in pole position to secure the Scudetto this season. He hasn’t been too heavily linked with Liverpool, but once again, bookmakers seem to think it is more probable than most pundits.

Inzaghi is fifth favourite to take the job – behind Alonso, Amorim, De Zerbi and Naglesmann – so we shouldn’t rule it out. The problem, perhaps, is experience – the 47-year-old has never played or managed outside of Italy.

Roger Schmidt

Schmidt isn’t the most well-known candidate out there, but the globetrotting German certainly might be the most cosmopolitan choice. The 56-year-old has managed in China, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Portugal (where he is currently in charge of Benfica).

With the exception of his time in his homeland, he has won silverware with each club in those countries. His experience would count for much compared to others on this list, but like Amirom, there would be questions about taking the step from Portugal to England.

Vincenzo Italiano

Another Italian, the aptly named 46-year-old has slowly built a reputation as one of the better managers around. He had a journeyman career as a player and a manager, finally working his way up to take charge of Fiorentina.

He has since revived the fortunes of La Viola, getting them back into European football and on the periphery of Champions League qualification in Serie A. Italiano has worked on a shoestring budget compared to those enjoyed by Juventus, Napoli and the two Milan clubs.

Marco Rose

Back in 2021, some football websites attempted to portray the then Borussia Monchengladbach boss as the long-term successor to Klopp. Funnily enough, they picked 2024 as a possible starting date.

Nonetheless, Rose’s star was on the rise in Germany as Monchengladbach flirted with a title challenge, but he has managed Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig (his current gig) since then, and it has been difficult at times.

The 47-year-old is one of the most unlikely candidates on this list, but he is arguably the closest to Klopp in terms of philosophy. If Liverpool opt for a continuity candidate, Pep Lijnders might be the obvious one; Rose would also be high up that list.

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