Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has praised Jurgen Klopp’s ability to get the best out of his players.
Alonso sat down with BT Sport to discuss this weekend’s Champions League final. During the discussion, the Spaniard assessed what he thinks are the Liverpool’s manager’s biggest strengths.
“With Jurgen, I’ve played many times against him,” said Alonso. “He’s intense, he’s very passionate and I think one of his best qualities is that he’s able to get the best from his players. He’s able for them to commit in a very generous way and to create proper teams.”
Despite the praise, Alonso wouldn’t be drawn on who he wants to win the meeting between two of his old clubs. That’s okay Xabi, we know you’re a red!
Xabi the manager
Since Jurgen signed his new deal, we now don’t have to worry about finding his successor until at least 2026.
When that dreadful day does finally roll around, most people’s favourites are Pep Lijnders and Steven Gerrard. Four years is a long time in football though, a lot can happen between now and then.
One thing that is expected to happen is that Alonso establishes himself as a manager to watch. The 40-year-old has been in charge of Real Sociedad’s B team since 2019 and has done an excellent job.
He took them up to the Segunda Division for the first time in history last season. Unfortunately, this season they have been relegated, but Alonso had them punching well above their weight.
There had previously been rumours that the Basque was due to join Pep Guardiola as an assistant at Manchester City. Thankfully, that never happened. But he will surely soon be ready to take the next step.
Alonso played under managers such as Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez. Couple this education with his excellent tactical brain as a player, and we could be looking at one heck of a manager.
Given his links to the club, Liverpool should be keeping an eye on his progress. Xabi is a well-loved figure at Anfield. Should Gerrard not convince enough in the intervening period, he could be a brilliant alternative.