Next Liverpool manager odds: Alonso seen as Jurgen Klopp’s natural successor

The footballing world was left shocked on Friday 26 when Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp announced he would be leaving the club at the end of the season. While a lot of the talk was about all the good Klopp has done at Anfield, the wheels will already be in motion behind the scenes to scout out his replacement.

There will be a whole host of managers throwing themselves at Liverpool over the coming months, but without a doubt, Klopp and the Liverpool board will have already sorted out a shortlist of potential candidates. This will also very likely have ex-Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso right near the top.

Alonso has taken his Bayer Leverkusen side to the top of the Bundesliga table and currently sit five points ahead of Bayern Munich having not lost in the league yet this campaign. So, without a doubt, he is going to be in demand and someone the Anfield hierarchy take an interest in.

Alonso Europa League press conference
Alonso faces the media before Thursday's Europa League clash with Qarabag. (Credit: Federico Gambarini/dpa) – Photo by Icon sport

Liverpool a natural ‘next step’ from Bundesliga

Should Alonso switch from the German top-flight to Liverpool, he would be following in the footsteps of Klopp himself – albeit, as of yet, without toppling Bayern from the throne of German football. Nonetheless, the expected trajectory of Alonso’s managerial career correlates to those experienced by several revered modern coaches, including Klopp.

Alonso has not just done it in the Bundesliga either having done a very solid piece of work out in Spain, albeit with Real Sociedad's B team so he's already got experience under his belt. Liverpool is a unique club and needs a manager who will fully buy into the city, players and style of play, something Alonso has experience of doing.

The former Spanish midfielder racked up 210 appearances for Liverpool before being pushed out the door and to Real Madrid by Rafael Benitez. So, he could certainly see this as a way of finishing business on Merseyside, while also taking a big step forward in his still very young managerial career.

Xabi Alonso shouting on the touchline
Xabi Alonso is the bookmakers favourite to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool – Photo by Icon Sport

Next Liverpool manager odds

Xabi Alonso – (1/2)

Alonso looks to be the natural successor to Klopp given the work he's done in Germany coupled with his links back to the club. The ex-Red star was part of a side that won the Champions League, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup so he is a born winner on the Red side of Merseyside.

It's believed that Alonso has a contract with Leverkusen that runs until the summer of 2026. Therefore, Liverpool will have to pay a considerable amount of compensation to get him out of Leverkusen, and the question remains as to whether or not Alonso wishes to make such a huge step up this soon into a promising career.

Roberto De Zerbi is a wanted man throughout Europe – Photo by Icon sport

Roberto De Zerbi – (6/1)

The football and results Roberto De Zerbi has brought to Brighton will certainly have the Liverpool hierarchy interested. De Zerby has been tentatively linked with the Chelsea job if Mauricio Pochettino was to be sacked, so the Reds may have to move quickly.

De Zerbi managed to guide Brighton into Europe for the first time while also topping their group, all while losing players such as Moises Caicedo and Evan Ferguson being linked away. So, he can clearly get a team to play exciting football and cope with losing star players, two qualities that he shares with Klopp.

Pep Lijnders has long been Jurgen Klopp's reliable number two – Photo by Icon Sport

Pep Lijnders – (8/1)

This would certainly be a huge shock if Klopp's right-hand man, Pep Lijnders, was to take over and be in the hot seat. Lijnders has just a short stint in the Eredivisie with NEC Nijmegen when it comes to managerial experience, so this would be a huge step for him and a major gamble from the Liverpool hierarchy.

It's believed that all of Klopp's backroom staff will indeed depart at the same time as the German boss. So, that would mean Lijnders isn't likely to become the Reds' new boss, however, he has become ingrained into the football club and is seemingly loved at Anfield, so certainly can't be ruled out.

Julian Nagelsmann to Liverpool would leave the German national team job available – Photo by Icon sport

Julian Nagelsmann – (14/1)

Now, this would indeed be a huge appointment for several reasons. First of all, it would mean that Nagelsmann permanently leaves his post as manager of the German national side, leaving a vacancy that has long been linked to Klopp's name and could point towards his next step.

While Nagelsmann has done well in Germany with Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich, he was replaced by Thomas Tuchel for his lack of good enough results last season so the pressure of a big club may still be too much for him.

This is an appointment Liverpool simply can't afford to get wrong because it would quickly undo all of the work Klopp's done at Anfield during his long-stint with the English club.

Tactical approach fits Liverpool agenda

Alonso looks to play result-driven, fast, and entertaining football. His teams understand that goals will come if there is quality in the final third with a constant supply, and he has found a system that works for him too – a 3-4-3 when the team is attacking, but a 5-4-1 when the side is out of possession.

While it would be a gamble as a successor to Klopp’s famous 4-3-3 Gegenpress, there would be no shortage of domination in possession. Alonso’s penchant for deploying two number 10s could also cause some teams a real headache, with no time for opposition defenders to set themselves in a favourable position.

Alonso is the natural successor to Klopp for most people and with odds as short as 1/2, it's easy to see why. It would still be a gamble for Liverpool given how relatively inexperienced Alonso is as he'd be going up against some top-level coaches in the Premier League.

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Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.