Who are the frontrunners to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool?

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The quadruple? A quadruple? Either way, it doesn’t matter now…

Manchester United’s stunning comeback victory against Liverpool at Old Trafford in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup means that Jurgen Klopp’s dream of bowing out of his current stint in charge of the Reds with four trophies is now over.

He came close to completing the feat in 2022, when his side secured both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup. However, LFC missed out on the Premier League title on the final day of the campaign to Manchester City, before also losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid despite being dominant throughout.

Liverpool already have the Carabao Cup in the bank following Virgil van Dijk’s late winner in the final against Chelsea at Wembley, and they are also still alive in the Premier League and the Europa League.

In fact, victory in the latter competition is almost looking like a formality to some. Websites which provide betting and offers on the tournament, such as BetMGM free bets and their bet £10 get £60, make the Reds an even-money favourite. One thing for certain, though, is that no matter how many trophies the Merseysiders finish up with this season, their maverick German manager won’t be at Anfield in the summer.

Klopp is leaving, but who are the main candidates looking to take his place in the dugout? Let’s take a look.

Xabi Alonso

The one man that seemingly every Scouser wants at Anfield next season is former Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso. The iconic Spaniard delivered great results throughout his stint in Merseyside between 2004 and 2009, winning the Champions League and the FA Cup whilst developing into one of the finest midfielders on the planet. However, it is his development as a coach which has taken the world by storm.

The former Real Madrid man took over at Bayer Leverkusen last season when they were battling to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga. Little more than 12 months on, his side are on the brink of ending Bayern Munich’s 12-year stranglehold on the Meisterschale. Alonso is also leading his team into the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal and the quarter-finals of the Europa League. In fact, they are without a loss in all competitions all season and are currently 38 games unbeaten.

Alonso’s philosophy, rooted in possession-based football with an emphasis on tactical flexibility, echoes elements of Klopp’s approach while also introducing his own unique insights. The 42-year-old’s stint with Real Sociedad’s B Team, in which he led them to the top of their league early in the season, showcased his ability to inspire and elevate young talent – a crucial attribute for any Liverpool manager, considering the club’s emphasis on nurturing youth players.

Photo by Jack Hunter on Unsplash

Ruben Amorim

Ruben Amorim is relatively young in his managerial career but has already etched his name among Europe’s tactical innovators.

Steering Sporting CP to their first Primeira Liga title in 19 years in the 2020/21 season, the 39-year-old demonstrated his prowess in building a cohesive unit which balances defensive solidity and attacking flair. His system, often featuring a 3-4-3 formation, encourages fluidity and adaptability – traits which’d resonate well with a Liverpool side known for its dynamic attacking play.

Amorim’s success in integrating young prospects with seasoned veterans could blend seamlessly with the Reds’ squad dynamics.

Pep Lijnders

Serving as Klopp’s assistant since 2018, Pep Lijnders presents an intriguing option from within Liverpool’s coaching ranks. His intimate knowledge of the squad and the club’s culture, plus the intricacies of the outgoing manager’s system, positions him as a continuity candidate.

The Dutchman has been instrumental in developing Liverpool’s high-intensity pressing game and is credited with influencing the team’s tactical evolutions over recent years.

His promotion to the top job could ensure a smooth transition. Lijnders would be able to maintain the core principles which have brought the club success, while potentially introducing fresh tactical ideas drawn from his extensive coaching background.

Roberto De Zerbi

Roberto De Zerbi has garnered acclaim for his work with Sassuolo in Serie A and, more recently, Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League. Known for his attacking philosophy and commitment to playing attractive, progressive football, the Italian has demonstrated an ability to maximise the potential of his squads, often exceeding expectations.

Under his guidance, the Seagulls have evolved into a formidable side capable of beating the Premier League’s elite, as well as reaching the knockout stages of the Europa League. The 44-year-old’s philosophy aligns with the attacking ethos that Liverpool fans cherish, making him a compelling candidate for the Anfield hot seat.

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