Left-field candidates to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager

No manager can truly replace Jurgen Klopp.

The 56-year-old has transformed Liverpool Football Club from top to bottom, helping the club's supporters fall in love with football once again.

Having announced his intention to leave the Reds at the end of the season, Liverpool fans are currently in the mourning period. However, the club itself must look forward.

Behind the scenes, Liverpool will be frantically searching for someone who can continue the success that Klopp has brought to the club, with a few obvious front-runners for the job - chiefly former Red Xabi Alonso of Bayer Leverkusen.

But, with such an important decision to be made, Liverpool will need to make sure they consider every option available to them.

Here are some of the more left-field candidates that could replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.


Unai Emery

A man who has shown his credentials on countless occasions, Unai Emery continues to exceed expectations almost everywhere he goes.

The Spaniard is doing a sensational job with Aston Villa having taken over from former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, the Midlands side currently sat just five points off the Reds in the Premier League table.

There are similarities between Klopp and Emery in terms of coaching style, both playing attacking, high-intensity football with frighteningly high lines.

However, during his days at traditional 'big clubs' in Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, Emery didn't have the best experiences. While arguably harshly treated, he didn't manage to capture the culture of either club or deliver the kind of success expected of him.

That would be of concern to Liverpool, but he remains a hugely gifted coach with incredible tactical intelligence.


MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, March 14, 2023: RB Leipzig's manager Marco Rose before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Manchester City FC and RB Leipzig at the City of Manchester Stadium. Man City won 7-0, 8-1 on aggregate. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Marco Rose has several things in common with Jurgen Klopp. The current RB Leipzig head coach was a player at Mainz, while also acting as assistant manager at the club between 2010-2012, and has taken charge of Borussia Dortmund.

The German was unable to enjoy anywhere near the level of success that Klopp did at Signal Iduna Park, despite arriving with an impressive track record at Borussia Monchengladbach.

With his career now back on track with Leipzig, Rose also favours high-octane football which prioritises intensity and energy. However, he may not have quite enough pedigree to convince Liverpool chiefs to employ him.

Leipzig are currently only fifth in the Bundesliga despite boasting an incredibly talented squad, although they did lose the likes of Christopher Nkunku and, of course, Dominik Szoboszlai last summer.

Die Roten Bullen are 16 points off Alonso's Leverkusen already.


KIEV, UKRAINE - Friday, May 25, 2018: Real Madrid's head coach Zinedine Zidane during a pre-match press conference at the NSC Olimpiyskiy ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC. (Handout/UEFA via Propaganda)

A name that has been touted as a surprise candidate for the Liverpool job is former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

The Frenchman won three Champions League titles during his days in the Santiago Bernabeu dugout, beating Klopp's Liverpool in the final during the 2017/18 season.

The superstar coach has been out of work since 2021, with reports suggesting he is holding out for the France national team job when Didier Deschamps eventually leaves the 2018 World Cup winners.

However, there are speculative suggestions that the 51-year-old could be tempted by the proposition of joining Liverpool, despite the fact that he has never played or managed in England before.

Rather bizarrely, there remain question marks over his managerial ability, with claims that his success at Madrid was largely down to the immense quality of his squad.


Roger Schmidt, Benfica

Another German who has been impressing in Europe, Roger Schmidt is currently managing Benfica. The 56-year-old has coached the likes of Leverkusen and PSV Eindhoven in the past and has done some impressive work since making the move to Portugal in 2022.

Having won the Liga Portugal title last season, Schmidt has continued the good work this term. Benfica are currently fighting with Sporting CP for this year's crown, with the latter's manager Ruben Amorim having also been linked with Anfield.

While Benfica underwhelmed in this season's Champions League, they performed admirably last year, making it all the way to the quarter-final after topping a group that contained Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

Schmidt has won silverware pretty much everywhere he's been, but he has never been tested at a club of Liverpool's stature.


ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 10: Simone Inzaghi, Head Coach of FC Internazionale, looks on during the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 final match between FC Internazionale and Manchester City FC at Atatuerk Olympic Stadium on June 10, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by UEFA)

His brother may have broken Liverpool hearts in the 2007 Champions League final, but Simone Inzaghi would be one of the most high-profile appointments that the Reds could make.

The Italian has done sensationally well during his time at Inter, even making it all the way to the Champions League final with the club last season - narrowly losing 1-0 to Manchester City.

The 47-year-old, who also did superbly at Lazio, has won five trophies with Inter, including the Coppa Italia twice. While the Serie A title has evaded him to date, the Nerazzuri are well placed to win the scudetto this season, currently sat top of the table with a game in hand.

A pragmatic coach, Inazghi may not be the most glamorous appointment in terms of football philosophy, but he has proven himself consistently in Italy.

He would certainly offer something different to Klopp if Liverpool were seeking a new direction.

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