Cesc Fabregas backs Xabi Alonso to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager | Football

Xabi Alonso is the bookies’ favourite to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

Cesc Fabregas says Xabi Alonso has the ‘right mentality’ to take over the reins from Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool at the end of the season.

Last week, Klopp sent shockwaves around the football world as he announced that he will be stepping down as Liverpool manager in the summer after nine trophy-laden years at Anfield.

Klopp cited a lack of ‘energy’ as one of the key factors in his decision but the 56-year-old former Borussia Dortmund boss will be determined to bow out on a high this term, with the Reds sitting top of the Premier League and battling for honours in the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the Europa League.

The German leaves enormous shoes to fill on Merseyside and work is now underway to find a suitable successor, with ex-Liverpool midfielder Alonso the bookmakers’ favourite to take charge after a phenomenal start in management with Bayer Leverkusen.

The likes of Roberto De Zerbi, Julian Nagelsmann and Ruben Amorim are also believed to be on the club’s shortlist of managerial targets, but Fabregas believes his fellow countryman Alonso could be the best fit.

‘He’s a very intelligent guy,’ the ex-Arsenal, Chelsea and Spain star told the BBC’s Planet Premier League podcast. 

‘He’s been up there. He’s done it all and he knows the standards that are being set at Liverpool. The crowd love him and also I think he’s a really good coach. He’s got good ideas.

‘Maybe he plays slightly differently but I think he’s got adaptability. I saw him around when he was the coach of Real Sociedad B, then now at Bayer Leverkusen.’

Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas celebrate winning the 2008 Euros with Spain

Alonso and Fabregas enjoyed great success together during their playing days (Picture: Getty)

Fabregas knows managing a club of Liverpool’s stature is no mean feat but is confident Alonso – a hero of Istanbul in 2005 – has the strength of character to succeed in the hot seat at Anfield.

‘He does different things. He’s capable of adapting to the situation and to different types of players he’s got and he’s got the right mentality,’ the 2010 World Cup winner added.

‘He’s young, but the good thing about him is that he’s got very clear ideas. He’s an intelligent, stable guy and has the right personality.

‘So it’s a big shout, but I agree that he [would be] able to do it.’

While Alonso is understood to be open to the prospect of replacing Klopp, he refused to be drawn into the speculation when quizzed on the recent rumours last week.

‘Speculations are normal, but my focus is Bayer Leverkusen,’ the Spaniard told reporters.

‘I am very happy right now with my players in Leverkusen.

‘Of course, Jurgen Klopp’s departure from Liverpool was a big surprise. I have great respect and admiration for what he did.’

Asked if he could rule out being Liverpool’s next manager, he added: ‘Honestly… I don’t have a direct answer.

‘I’m happy here right now, that’s for sure, and only thinking about Leverkusen.’

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