Steven Gerrard had already predicted the successor of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool
Xabi Alonso is excelling at Bayer Leverkusen. And, according to Steven Gerrard, he may one day be considered a candidate to lead Liverpool as their future manager.
Jurgen Klopp’s new contract deal secured his future with Liverpool until 2026. And the rumours of prospective Klopp successors at Anfield were gladly put on pause.
When Klopp signed his two-year deal, his team was close to achieving a quadruple that would have been a record. And despite Liverpool’s struggles on the field this year, there has never been a willingness to let the German. He has helped the Reds win every major prize and leave the team.
Earlier this month, when discussing Liverpool’s difficulties and drawing comparisons between the Reds’ predicament and his final campaign with Borussia Dortmund, Klopp affirmed he had no plans to leave Anfield anytime soon.
Klopp on his Liverpool tenure
“At Dortmund, it was clear when I left I said: ‘Something has to change here’. It was a different situation, but if you want, it’s similar.
Either I go, the manager position changes or a lot of other things change. As far as I know, from what I hear, if nobody tells me, I will not go.
So that means maybe there’s a point where we have to change other stuff. And we will see that.”
Klopp has earned much respect as the manager who guided Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years and saw them named champions of England, Europe, and the entire world. Even if the Reds miss out on the Champions League for the upcoming season, things at Anfield would need to grow far worse before anyone even considers starting to demand the German’s ouster.
Kopites know how fortunate they are to have Jurgen Klopp as their manager. FSG struck gold when they chose the German in October 2015 and watched him change Liverpool’s fortunes. Because of this, he will likely leave on his own terms in the far future when he decides it is time.
He will leave the most enormous shoes to fill whenever the time comes for him to leave the club, whether it is after his contract in 2026 or later. Even though such a departure is some time off, there is still no obvious successor in the wings.
Gerrard’s failure and the rise of Xabi Alonso
The most frequently mentioned contenders for Klopp’s replacement have been Steven Gerrard and Reds assistant manager Pep Lijnders. But in reality, these ambitions appear to have diminished since the Germans agreed to an extension.
Gerrard was given his first Premier League job at Aston Villa after leading Rangers to their first Scottish Premiership victory in ten years and seeing his “Gers” constantly draw attention in Europe. But because the Villans only managed to win two of their first 12 league games in 2022–23, he was fired after just 11 months.
The Liverpool icon, whose name has recently been connected to a post in Poland, is still looking for work. And his dreams of one day managing the Reds have taken a beating during the past year. It’s evident that Gerrard, who was once predicted to succeed Klopp, will need to show himself once more if he ever hopes to establish himself as a future contender.
Lijnders has stated that he plans to take over as a manager on his own after Klopp’s tenure at Anfield rather than returning to being an assistant. While the Dutchman is well-regarded at Liverpool, some have blamed him for the Reds’ troubles this year, claiming he has grown more hands-on without much success.
Obviously, 2026 is still a ways off, and any conversation about a potential Klopp successor now will change significantly from one in three years. However, although Lijnders and Gerrard aren’t getting the same kind of attention, they would have a year ago, one former Red could be beginning to build his own claim elsewhere.
Steven Gerrard chose his next Liverpool manager
Steven Gerrard wrote in his 2015 autobiography:
“If I had smart people around me and the right coaching team behind me, I like to think I could succeed as a manager. It’s still quite fun to fantasise a little. If, totally hypothetically, I was going to become Liverpool manager one day. I know who I’d love to have as my assistant: Xabi Alonso or Jamie Carragher.
They are very intelligent, have a deep knowledge of football and are special men. The players would respect them. The fans would like them. And I think we would work really well together.
I’ve never mentioned it to either Xabi or Jamie, so I think they’ll be surprised if they read about it. Xabi might go on to be a great manager himself – and so I feel a bit embarrassed admitting that a managerial fantasy would be him working alongside me.”