Jurgen Klopp brands Xabi Alonso as the ‘standout’ manager of the modern era

Liverpool news- Jurgen Klopp backs Xabi Alonso's excellent managerial skills; claiming him to be the 'standout' among the next generation of managers

Xabi Alonso: Next Liverpool manager?
Xabi Alonso: Next Liverpool manager? / Lars Baron/GettyImages

Premier League giants Liverpool are in search of a new manager, following Jurgen Klopp’s shocking announcement last month that he would be leaving at the end of the season. Several names are in the mix to take charge at Anfield, with Xabi Alonso being one of the prime candidates in consideration for the vacant post this summer.

Klopp has bestowed a resounding endorsement upon Alonso, tipping the former Liverpool midfielder as the ‘standout’ manager of modern football.

The Spanish manager’s impressive record at Bayer Leverkusen has gained Klopp’s plaudits, where he has taken the German side from second bottom in the league to an eight-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings within 16 months.

Klopp said:

"Xabi is doing an incredible job. If there were not the rumors around, that’s completely independent, if you had asked me eight weeks ago about Xabi Alonso, I would have gone ‘Oh my God’."

"The dinosaurs if you want, Ancelotti, Mourinho, Guardiola, maybe me, we will not do it - OK maybe Mourinho - but all the rest of us will not do it for the next 20 years. The next generation is already there and I would say Xabi is the stand-out in that department."

Leverkusen, under the shrewd guidance of their 42-year-old manager, reached the Europa League semi-finals last season, are in the German Cup semi-finals where they face Fortuna Dusseldorf in early April, and registered a thrilling 3-0 win over Bayern Munich last weekend to extend their lead at the top.

The Bay Arena-based outfit remain the only team across the top five European leagues to remain unbeaten in the league this season.

"How quickly his team is that well-tuned, that impresses me. For the time it’s taken, he’s put his proper stamp on it,"

remarked Klopp

"Nobody knows if that’s always the way he wants to play or if it’s the way this team specifically plays. He’s not long enough in the business to tell, but obviously the coaching part is exceptional. That’s clear."

"He’s a former world-class player, obviously from a coaching family as well, which helps a little bit, he was like a coach already when he was playing. The football he’s playing, the teams he sets up, the transfers he did, it was all absolutely exceptional."

The 56-year-old tactician reminisced about his time in the German top-flight, where under him Borussia Dortmund denied Bayern Munich the title in 2012. He added that it is a rare feat for a side to be better than Bayern and Leverkusen this term has done exactly that.

"I played a long time in my life in the Bundesliga and that is super-impressive. Not only the points tally, but the way they play. "

"Leverkusen were clearly the better side in the first game and that’s rare."

"To be honest when we beat Bayern at Dortmund, it was a bit of defending very well, counter-attacking and taking the momentum. But Leverkusen were simply better. That was probably the real surprise given the short time he was there and the fact that it’s a young team. He has made super signings for this team, exactly what they needed and that’s really a very special job. Everybody would say exactly the same. In Germany, they talk like this. Wow, that is really impressive."

Alonso is on course of securing a treble for Leverkusen this season, with the coveted Bundesliga title, the German Cup, and the Europa League well within reach for the German side.

Klopp ended by saying:

"Especially as they are in the semi-final of the German Cup, there is only one other Bundesliga team in it if Gladbach wins, so Leverkusen have a very good chance to win the Cup."

"Obviously when you look through the Europa League, Leverkusen are one of the favourites there as well so this could be THE season for Leverkusen. It’s really crazy."

Only time will tell if Alonso will become the next manager of Liverpool, but, with Klopp’s high praise for the ex-Spanish international, owners, Fenway Sports Group would certainly consider him as the frontrunner to succeed Klopp at Anfield.