Shortlist: Liverpool eye “genius” Klopp replacement who’d make Mac Allister unplayable – opinion
FSG have their work cut out in identifying a successor to lead ‘Liverpool 2.0’.
To all appearances, Liverpool are flying high right now and, in theory, are well-placed to challenge for a quadruple, but a sense of dejection sits at the core of every supporter as the campaign edges closer to completion.
Jurgen Klopp is to stand down from his role as manager at Anfield at the end of the season, and this is no precipitous decision. The German has enjoyed sweeping success during his time at the club and has won Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup titles among others.
"We need to be warriors and not celebrate the old man on sideline" 😂
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But the Reds are in a fine position indeed, top of the Premier League by five points, topping their Europa League group before Christmas, awaiting Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final and recently dispatching Norwich City 5-2 in the FA Cup fourth round, with further Championship opposition in the next round.
Klopp, by his own admission, is “running out of energy” after eight-and-a-half years of unrelenting action, and after fixing the issues of the 2022/23 term, the 56-year-old feels the time is right for a changing of the guard, with a shortlist compiled.
Liverpool’s shortlist to replace Jurgen Klopp
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool have compiled a three-man shortlist to identify Klopp’s successor.
While Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso is the early frontrunner, Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim and Italian manager Roberto De Zerbi are also coveted.
The latter has done an exemplary job with Brighton & Hove Albion and is reported to be high on FSG’s wishlist, and given his experience and success on English shores, could be an excellent option.
How Roberto De Zerbi would benefit Mac Allister
Liverpool are in a fine position to get their hands on some silverware this season but more importantly, are poised for an exciting future with a rich blend of senior talent and prodigious potential.
De Zerbi has proved himself a “genius” tactician, as said by former player Maxime Lopez, and while he doesn’t offer a replica of Klopp’s heavy-metal style, the suffocating, possession-centric approach would be something that the Reds squad could adapt to.
Such a style demands a first-class operator to control the flow and enhance the fluency, but luckily Liverpool have such a player in Alexis Mac Allister, who left De Zerbi’s Seagulls in the summer to complete a £35m transfer with the Merseyside outfit.
Mac Allister, a 2022 World Cup winner and the centrepiece in Brighton’s Europa League qualification last year, impressed under the Seagulls boss with eight goals and three assists from midfield. That said, he has been playing in a deeper-lying role than he might desire with Liverpool but he has plied his trade expertly to ensure Liverpool are firing on all cylinders.
As per FBref, he ranks among the top 15% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for shot-creating actions, the top 18% for progressive passes and the top 20% for progressive carries per 90 to emphasise his creativity and ball-playing aptitude.
The Argentinan gem knows all about De Zerbi’s managerial prowess and would welcome the Italian as a replacement for Klopp. Indeed, a more advanced role could be given to the summer signing again, meaning it’s an appointment that should well ensure the 24-year-old moves to the next level; a frightening thought.