Xabi Alonso was the Kop's chosen one, and his decision to turn down Liverpool set alarm bells ringing in the fanbase... it is a blow but not a knockout punch, writes LEWIS STEELE


It is perhaps a sad indictment of the world in 2024 but a quick scroll down the X timeline immediately after a big piece of news drops offers a steady barometer into the overall feeling of a fanbase.

When Jurgen Klopp’s bombshell news took all by surprise, including players and Anfield staffers, in January, within minutes Liverpool fans were posting pictures of one man: Xabi Alonso. He was the Kop’s chosen one.

It wasn’t long before the bookmakers followed suit and instilled him as favourite for Klopp’s job. But Liverpool were never confident they could tempt Alonso out of Bayer Leverkusen, which has now proven to be the Spaniard’s desired place to work for the next year at least.

Given Liverpool’s internal knowledge, though, it would be wide of the mark to say those alarm bells are also ringing at Anfield. They have known for several weeks that Alonso would be likely to remain in Germany. It would also be wrong to say they have moved on to secondary options.

Xabi Alonso has turned down Liverpool to stay at Bayer Leverkusen for at least another year

Xabi Alonso has turned down Liverpool to stay at Bayer Leverkusen for at least another year

The Reds' hunt for Jurgen Klopp's successor has not yet led to alarm bells ringing at Anfield

The Reds’ hunt for Jurgen Klopp’s successor has not yet led to alarm bells ringing at Anfield

There is no hiding that this is a significant blow to Liverpool and Bayern Munich. Albeit based on just two years of evidence, Alonso looks like one of the standout coaches of this new generation and missing out on him is of course a setback.

But given the arrival of sporting director Richard Hughes and returning chief Michael Edwards, as CEO of Football at owners Fenway Sports Group, the club is in good hands and no Alonso will not detract from their mission to usher in another glory era in L4.

Ruben Amorim has now emerged as the leading candidate and it is understood the Reds like the Sporting boss, though hiring him will not be easy nor a quick process. No official offers have been made yet.

Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi is also rated and will have a chance to strengthen his case, should he want to manage Liverpool, on Sunday when his Seagulls side come to Anfield. 

His history against Jurgen Klopp is played four, won two, drawn two. Few managers boast such a record.

Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim is the leading candidate but hiring him will not be easy

Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim is the leading candidate but hiring him will not be easy

Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi is also rated and may have an audition for the job this weekend

Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi is also rated and may have an audition for the job this weekend

Both of those candidates, plus others that will be considered, all have significant drawbacks and none will have the emotional pull of Alonso, a former midfielder idolised by Liverpool fans. But it is clear Liverpool want a young coach who, like Klopp, has a strong personality.

Data will play a key role in the hiring process and due diligence in this department has been underway since Klopp informed FSG chief Mike Gordon of his decision to step away in November.

Whoever comes in has significant shoes to fill and Liverpool need to look no further than their friends down the East Lancashire Road at Manchester United for how hard it is to replace one of the best managers in football history.

Many lessons can be learned from that and with that in mind, the Reds are not searching for a Klopp 2.0, but more someone who can assert his own authority on the job. The United comparison need not be taken any further, though.

Liverpool’s squad is perfectly balanced and the new manager will find no shortage of elite talent mixed with young stars of tomorrow. 

New sporting director Richard Hughes must find a new manager and tie down key players

New sporting director Richard Hughes must find a new manager and tie down key players

Alonso's decision to stay at Leverkusen is a blow for Liverpool but not a knockout punch

Alonso’s decision to stay at Leverkusen is a blow for Liverpool but not a knockout punch

It is full of leader-like figures – five of them captain their national teams – and the spine of the team is very stable.

There is constant noise around the contract situations of key men Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, with all three seeing their deal expire at the end of next term, and that is a significant task for Hughes and Co but not one for immediate concern.

Whoever replaces Klopp, none will feel as natural of a fit as Alonso would have done, given his legendary status at the club and the fact he would likely have departed Leverkusen with a rare league title.

His decision to stay in Leverkusen is a blow, but not a knockout punch – the club is in stable hands regardless.



Also Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Inter Miami loses in Champions Cup and has not won in five games as concerns rise over Lionel Messi’s injury, while Al-Nassr’s chances of winning the title diminish and Cristiano Ronaldo receives a red card – what’s happening with the game’s legends?

Inter Miami loses in Champions Cup and has not won in five…

Manchester United elevate 18-year-old defender to main squad during injury-plagued season, potentially including young talent in lineup for upcoming match against Bournemouth under manager Erik ten Hag.

Man United’s treatment room has been one of the busiest in the…

Barcelona vs Las Palmas: Preview, predictions and lineups

Barcelona host mid-table Las Palmas in La Liga on Saturday night knowing…

Man Utd finds out how much Toney costs; Gyokeres picks his next team

Share this @internewscast.com 90min rounds up the latest transfer news, rumours and gossip circulating…