Liverpool will be on the lookout for a new manager ahead of next season following the bombshell news that Jurgen Klopp will be leaving the club at the end of the current campaign. The 56-year-old has been in the dugout at Anfield since 2015 but will be stepping down in the summer, having confirmed the news himself on Friday.
Speaking in a video posted on Liverpool’s social channels, Klopp said: “I can understand that it’s a shock for a lot of people in this moment when you hear it for the first time but obviously I can explain it, or at least try to explain it. I love absolutely everything about this club. I love everything about the city.
“I love everything about our supporters, I love the team. I love the staff. I love everything. That I still take this decision it shows you that I’m convinced it’s one I have to take.
“How can I say this? I’m running out of energy. I have no problem now, obviously, I think I know it already for longer that I will have to announce that at one point. But, I’m absolutely fine now. But I also know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.”
Express Sport takes a look at five potential candidates to succeed Klopp at Liverpool next season…
Former Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso has enjoyed a stellar start to his career in management and is perhaps the standout candidate to replace Klopp in the Anfield dugout. The Spaniard has successfully guided Bayer Leverkusen to the top of the Bundesliga table, with the club leading second-placed Bayern Munich by a margin of four points.
Alonso remains hugely fond of Liverpool having previously declared that he will forever be a Red, while he has also spoken about leading his team out at Anfield as manager in the past. It remains to be seen who Liverpool bosses will choose to succeed Klopp but Alonso could well be his ready-made replacement if his relative success in Germany is anything to go by.
Roberto De Zerbi
Widely regarded as one of the best emerging managers in the Premier League, Roberto De Zerbi could be another option for the Reds to pursue when Klopp steps down in the summer. His entertaining style of football would likely go down well on Merseyside, with Brighton having gained a reputation for being easy on the eye during his time in charge there.
De Zerbi is also brilliant at extracting the very best from the players at his disposal, allowing Brighton to thrive despite having their squad continuously stripped of talent. The Seagulls manager would certainly have huge boots to fill if he ends up joining Liverpool next season, but there are few candidates better equipped to thrive in such an enviroment.
Thomas Frank has done wonders at Brentford, helping the Bees to achieve promotion to the Premier League in 2021 before successfully establishing them as a top-flight side. They finished ninth at the end of last season while playing a high-octane style of football, usually in the 4-3-3 formation that Liverpool fans have become so accustomed to seeing from Klopp.
The former Brondby manager has helped to develop a host of impressive talents while at Brentford and is regarded by many as one of the Premier League’s most underrated bosses. His record against big teams is also very strong, with the west Londoners claiming victories over the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool last season.
Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann was sacked by Bayern Munich last season but could still be more than capable of doing an impressive job at Liverpool. He ended his time at Bayern with a league title and a win rate of 71.4 per cent, while he also took RB Leipzig to the Champions League semi-finals before joining the German champions in 2021.
The 36-year-old is only tied down to Germany until the end of this summer’s Euros, at which point he could decide to seek a new challenge elsewhere. A strong showing at the tournament could see Nagelsmann presented with a host of opportunities, but only time will tell if he will end up taking on the role vacated by Klopp at Liverpool.
Klopp’s trusted assistant Pep Lijnders is also set to leave Liverpool at the end of the season in order to pursue his own career in management. However, the Reds could reap the rewards of convincing him to stay, with Lijnders arguably in a better position than any other candidate to maintain Klopp’s successful legacy at Anfield.
The Dutchman already knows the club inside out and would be the ideal man to take over from Klopp, given his crucial role in shaping Liverpool’s fortunes over the last few years. It would certainly allow the Reds to maintain a degree of continuity, but it seems as though Lijnders will be leaving alongside Klopp unless he can be tempted to take on the top job himself.
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