‘Of course’ – EPL midfielder says his former boss would be ‘capable’ of succeeding at Liverpool

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One manager who’s been touted as a strong candidate for the Liverpool job has received a glowing recommendation from one of his former players.

Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha – who’s found himself at the centre of speculation over a possible move to Anfield in recent months – believes that his ex-Braga and Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim could be more than capable of succeeding with the Reds.

Speaking to O Jogo [via Desporto Sapo], the 28-year-old said: “Ruben is a coach with a lot of quality, one of the best in Portugal. He has done an excellent job since Braga. He has in-depth knowledge of the game and has a close relationship with the players. The way he is growing, he will not be in Portugal for much longer.”

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Palhinha continued: “Capable of taking over Liverpool? Yes, of course, although the pressure is different. When you coach a big Portuguese club, you have pressure from the fans and the size of the club itself, which forces you to win.

“When you coach Liverpool, you have pressure from the fans, the club, and the whole world. The way he is growing, I think it will be a matter of time.”

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Palhinha referenced the lofty expectations which come with managing Liverpool, and Amorim is already accustomed to taking on the pressure of taking charge of a club where challenging for silverware is a minimum requirement.

He went one better and won the Primeira Liga in his first season at Sporting, and they’re currently on course for another title triumph this term, leading the way from arch-rivals Benfica by one point and with a game in hand.

While simply qualifying from the group stage of the Champions League – as he did two years ago – would’ve been considered a success in Lisbon, he’d be expected to do that as a minimum requirement at Anfield, and ideally seek to have the Reds going even deeper into the competition.

Nonetheless, Palhinha is speaking from a position of having worked with Amorim at two clubs, so for him to state that the 39-year-old would be capable of succeeding at Liverpool may well strike a chord with Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes.

It’ll likely be another few weeks before interviews are conducted, so speculation will inevitably rumble on until then, but it certainly seems as though the Sporting manager’s name will continue to reside among the pool of leading candidates.

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