Ex-Liverpool star names Klopp's ideal successor

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 24 Nov 2023 16:25 GMT
  • 3 min read
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool
© ProShots

Former Liverpool player Boudewijn Zenden believes Xabi Alonso has the managerial mettle to succeed Jurgen Klopp in the Anfield dugout.

The Basque, who is himself a former Reds luminary, is currently masterminding Bayer Leverkusen's Bundesliga title challenge. The Werkself are ahead of almighty Bayern in the standings and will look to keep this up for the rest of the season.

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Alonso has turned the German club from relegation-battlers last season into the Bavarians' most serious challengers and he has done it in style, too. Leverkusen play scintillating football and this is making Alonso an attractive coaching prospect.

Indeed, the 41-year-old has been tipped to replace Carlo Ancelotti at the helm of Real Madrid when the latter's contract expires at the end of the season, while he has also been said to be of interest to Bayern should the Thomas Tuchel experiment falter. Alonso recently signed a new deal at Leverkusen, though, and now boasts a release clause believed to be between €15 million to €18m, so he won't come cheap.

Instead of Bayern or Real, Boudewijn Zenden would rather see his former teammate in the Liverpool dugout.

Xabi Alonso
© ProShots - Xabi Alonso

What did Zenden say?

Speaking to TG Casino, Zenden said of Alonso: "I played with Xabi Alonso at Liverpool, and I can understand why people are saying he could be the solution when Klopp leaves. I think Jurgen is doing a great job at the moment and he's here to stay for many more years. There's no doubt that Alonso is doing great things at Bayer Leverkusen - who aren't a small team."

"To be able to compete with the likes of Dortmund and Bayern isn't easy, but he's doing really well and he has a certain style of play and his own ideas of how to play. He likes to play a possession-based game and create things from there. It's offensive, and it's caught the eye of a lot of people."

"We have to ask if Liverpool is the right fit for him at the moment, but Xabi is in the right place. I don't think moving to Liverpool will happen on the back of one successful year – he has to prove himself over the next few years and keep the momentum going."

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