Liverpool Transfer Strategy: Alonso’s Potential Picks

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Liverpool’s Next Chapter: Potential Signings Under Alonso

Transitioning from Klopp to Alonso: Liverpool’s New Era

By parting ways with the esteemed and adored Jürgen Klopp at the end of this current season, Liverpool will not only be losing a legendary manager, but also a defined style of play that has become world renowned. The rock & roll gegenpressing system is something that is often replicated in world football, given the success that has been obtained by the famous German coach. No other manager in the modern game endorses more recognizable or ferocious patterns of play, especially with such superb results. In the coming weeks and months, a new Sporting Director will have to be brought in (ahead of any managerial change), to coordinate what comes next. It if not simply a case of looking at the best current candidates, it should be what fits the entire operation going forward. The fanbase only must look at the management roundabout that has engulfed both Manchester United and Chelsea, to understand how quickly things can go wrong. The right direction of change must be well considered and have the correct voices enforcing those choices.

Klopp Potential Replacements Reviewed

In this next period, I will be looking at potential replacements for Klopp and the players that would be required in their preferred systems of play. As it stands, four name are prominent within the Liverpool sphere, that remain the most likely of bodies to take on the vacant manager’s role in the summer. Those names are listed below and should remain the small pool of candidates going forward.

Xabi Alonso
Roberto De Zerbi
Rúben Amorim
Zinedine Zidane

Who Is the Man Most Likely…

Regarding the current Bayer Leverkusen manager, Xabi Alonso, he appears the bookmaker’s favourite to become the next Liverpool manager. The 42-year-old is already an Anfield legend, after playing such a key role as part the reds 2005 triumph in the UEFA Champions League. There would have been more than a few supporters who would have banked on Steven Gerrard being the most likely of ex reds to be in this conversation, especially after his successful stint as Ranger’s manager. Unfortunately for one of the greatest players to have represented this historic club, his stock has fallen dramatically and he does not appear to have the coaching acumen needed to succeed in elite environments. What has occurred almost in parallel with Stevie’s drop off, is the rise of Xabi’s reputation and subsequent standing in the coaching game.

José Mourinho spoke glowingly of the former Real Madrid midfielder, after viewing his coaching style for the Spanish club’s under-14’s in 2018. Speaking sometime later, the former Roma boss was quoted as saying, ‘His knowledge of the game was very high and then he played in Spain, England and Germany and was coached by (Pep) Guardiola at Bayern, by myself in Real Madrid, by (Carlos) Ancelotti in Real Madrid and by (Rafa) Benitez in Liverpool. So, if you put all that together, then I would say that Xabi has the conditions to be a very good coach.’

Alonso’s Tactical Blueprint and Liverpool’s Squad Evolution

Based upon that glowing reference by one of the game’s greatest ever managers, it would be safe to assume that Alonso would be coming in with his own methods and look to put his own identity on the Liverpool playing squad. Primarily, the former Bayern Munich controller utilizes a 3-4-2-1 formation, that has brought about so much success in the Bundesliga this season. the build-up play is more precise and coordinated than that of Jürgen Klopp, with more intricacies in the build-up. To imagine a shift to that more flexible system is very uncomplicated, as the current shape of the reds is now every changing enterprise, on and off the ball. The one glaring requirement would be that of a left footed centre back, which is something that Liverpool nearly recruited in the summer. An expansive left wing back would also benefit the new endeavour, whereas an elite level defensive midfielder (capable of playing a double pivot) would also add to what would be needed.

Targeted Reinforcements: Alonso’s Wishlist

Below are the three players that might be identified by the new incoming manager, as the new assets he would need to hit the ground running. As a long-term view, the new Sporting Director would need to oversee and undertake all levels of recruitment, however, it would be likely that if Alonso were to be ushered in from July, he would be granted what he needs to succeed in that first transfer window.

Piero Hincapié

Photo by IMAGO

Age – 22-years old (DOB 09/01/2002)
Nationality – Ecuadorian
Current Club – Bayer Leverkusen
Playing Positions – LCB / LB
Height – 6ft 0inches
Weight – 76kg
Appearances – 140 games
Career Goals & Assists – 4 / 3
International Caps & Goals – 30 games / 1 goal
Contract Expiry – June 30 – 2027
Transfermarkt Value – €35m
Projected Cost – €50m

Verdict – This is a player that Liverpool were heavily linked with in the summer, therefore, the credentials already fit with what is currently so successful. To imagine him moving to Merseyside with his current manager would be a very smart piece of business that would offer stability and reliability in transition. The likes of Joe Gomez would offer brilliant rotation against the entire back line, with Piero Hincapié installed as the starting left sided centre back.

Alfonso Davies

Photo by IMAGO

Age – 23-years old (DOB 02/11/2000)
Nationality – Canadian
Current Club – Bayern Munich
Playing Positions – LWB / LB
Height – 6ft 0inches
Weight – 75kg
Appearances – 280 games
Career Goals & Assists – 23 / 42
International Caps & Goals – 44 games / 15 goal
Contract Expiry – June 30 – 2025
Transfermarkt Value – €70m
Projected Cost – €60m

Verdict – This is a player that would offer brilliant offensive abilities and enhance that left hand side. With a contract dwindling towards just one year remaining, he would offer the ideal solution to what is needed.

Martín Zubimendi

Photo: IMAGO

Age – 24-years old (DOB 02/02/1999)
Nationality – Spanish
Current Club – Real Sociedad
Playing Positions – CDM / CM
Height – 5ft 11inch
Weight – 74kg
Appearances – 222 games
Career Goals & Assists – 12 / 8
International Caps & Goals – 4 games / 0 goal
Contract Expiry – June 30 – 2027
Transfermarkt Value – €50m
Projected Cost – €50m

Verdict – This is a player that would offer the physicality and intelligence to immerse into a Xabi Alonso side, having played under his fellow Spaniard for the Real Sociedad B team.

I have chosen the three players listed specifically, as each would have played under or crossed paths with the former Spanish international at some point. Allies are often needed with any young coaches, which is why a chosen few could allow the former red to be successful with his ideologies from the moment he arrives.

Steven Smith

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