Didi Hamann backs former teammate to take Liverpool hotseat

Roberto De Zerbi, Ruben Amorim, Pep Lijnders, Julian Nagelsmann... a whole host of names have been linked with the soon-to-be-vacant manager's job at Liverpool, but former Reds midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes there's only one man for the job: his former teammate Xabi Alonso.

The Spaniard, currently steering Bayer Leverkusen towards potential Bundesliga glory, has emerged as the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Jurgen Klopp, who announced he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Speaking to TalkSport, former Germany international Hamann expressed confidence in the Spaniard's ability to fill his compatriot's shoes: "I think if anyone can do it, it's Xabi. He's loved by the people, he's been a brilliant player, and what he's doing at Leverkusen is exceptional."

Alonso, who took charge at Bayer Leverkusen in November 2022, has orchestrated a remarkable ascent, lifting the team from a relegation battle to a title challenge.

In fact, Leverkusen's current unbeaten streak in all competitions, boasting 25 wins from 29 matches and an impressive 87 goals, underscores Alonso's achievements.

"Fantastic football"

"They just play fantastic football," Hamann said of Bayer Leverkusen this year. "He gives a lot of players an awful lot of confidence. Within six or 12 months, he turned them into title contenders."

With Leverkusen set to face Bayern Munich on Saturday, Hamann acknowledged the unique qualities that make Alonso's leadership stand out: "He gives them responsibility, and if you give players responsibility, most of the time they do pay it back."

The upcoming clash against Bayern will be a pivotal moment for Leverkusen, and Hamann believes they have a real chance of ending the Bavarians' 11-year league winning streak. If successful, it could further solidify Alonso's credentials and potentially lead him to consider new challenges.

"If they were to win the league, it would be sensational, and maybe if he wins it he'll think 'this is as far as I can go, let's take up a new challenge'. Liverpool is different. Can he do it? I think if anyone can do it after Klopp, it will be him."

As speculation gains momentum about Liverpool's future post-Klopp, Xabi Alonso's rise from Real Sociedad's youth team to the pinnacle of the Bundesliga remains a captivating narrative. His journey so far positions him as a compelling candidate for the highly sought-after Anfield managerial role.

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