The quotes that show Xabi Alonso is the ideal candidate to be Liverpool manager

Xabi Alonso is the standout candidate to succeed Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager this summer, and there's plenty of reasons why.

Filling the boots of one of the most successful and beloved managers in Anfield history is a daunting task, while Klopp still has the chance to make the follow-up act an even tougher one, with four trophies still possible this season.

But Klopp's shock exit announcement last month hit like a tonne of bricks for fans, not only due to his success at Liverpool but also the connection he built to the fans and the local community.

The German embodied the fans' spirit and energy in the dugout and the press room and genuinely understood what it meant to be the leader of a club like Liverpool.

Replacing what he brought to the role over the last eight years is practically impossible, while it would be unfair to expect the incoming manager to attempt to do a Klopp impression.

The new boss will of course look to do things his way with his own stamp and that will mean a degree of change. However, what the club must never lose sight of is the fact that the fans will always come first.

In that respect, Alonso — the frontrunner to take over this summer — is a standout candidate.

The former midfielder built a rapport with the Liverpool support during his five years on Merseyside between 2004 and 2009, where he made 210 appearances and winning both the Champions League and FA Cup. In the years since, he has frequently spoken of his love for the city where his son was born in 2008.

'Making Liverpool fans happy is the best thing'

As well as being a man who knows the club and has an impressive track record in his young managerial career — Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen are top of the Bundesliga and unbeaten in 2023/24 at the time of writing — he also fundamentally understands that football is about the fans. And nowhere is that more important than Liverpool.

Reliving the 'Miracle of Istanbul' with The Players' Tribune back in 2021, Alonso said: "The best thing [about] that, apart from what you have achieved, is to know how happy you have made people, how happy you have made Liverpool fans.

"That's what sticks on our memory and makes us proud. Thinking after so many years, that's the best thing."

He continued: "When you play a big final, when you are part of it, you miss the most enjoyable things like when you are a fan and you go with your friends and family and you enjoy the whole day, singing, sharing those moments. It's what we play for.

"You can play for trophies, for winning, for money but you play for the fans. Without the fans, football is nothing."

It's a sentiment that says everything about Alonso's mentality and one that will serve him well if he is the man chosen to replace Klopp at the end of the season.

While the Leverkusen boss has remained coy on his future so far, he has previously admitted his 'dream' of managing the Reds one day.

In an interview with talkSPORT back in 2018, while still the coach of Real Sociedad B, Alonso said: "Yeah for sure I have dreamt of that [managing Liverpool].

"First, I have to prove myself and to prepare.

"If I decide somewhere along the way to take my chances as a manager, my link, my commitment and my passion with Liverpool is there.

"Why not? We’ll see if we can cross paths in our ways."

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