Alonso alternative: Liverpool line up “special” 3-4-3 boss, he could supercharge Nunez - opinion


The dust might have settled after Jurgen Klopp's shock announcement that he will step down as Liverpool manager this summer but an air of despondency remains at the core of every supporter.

How can Anfield possibly replace such an esteemed and transformative manager? The 56-year-old has won six major honours during his eight-and-a-half-year tenure with silverware very much on the line this term but that is not why his name will forever be hung in the Anfield corridors, adorning the walls.

Klopp's transcendent reign has pumped life back into Liverpool, and turned "doubters to believers", a promise he made upon his appointment back in 2015, he has won the hearts and elevated the joy of a proud and football-frenzied city.

But his time at the helm is drawing to a close and he has earned the right to decide when that might be; now, as bitter as it might be, the Reds are working hard to identify and appoint a worthy successor.


Liverpool's manager shortlist
Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso is the frontrunner to replace Klopp at Liverpool, but he is contracted at the BayArena until 2026 and the Bundesliga table-toppers are reportedly confident of keeping him at the club.

As such, Liverpool could turn to Sporting Lisbon manager Ruben Amorim as an alternative, with Correio da Manha - via TEAMtalk - revealing that scouts have been watching the Portuguese outfit and ascertaining the suitability of Amorim's tactical style.

Liverpool owners FSG will be desperate to ensure that a changing of power does not devolve into something lacking cohesion, verve and promise.

Klopp is a one-of-a-kind manager but Amorim could be a good replacement, and while Alonso, who made 210 appearances and won the Champions League with Liverpool, is the favourite, Sporting are an exciting and tactically fluid team and Amorim could thrive on Merseyside.

Tending to field a 3-4-3 formation that allows ball-playing centre-backs to drift into pockets of space centrally and pull the strings from deep, this is exactly the kind of system that Liverpool could adapt to, with Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate two of the Premier League's finest defensive distributors, both completing north of 89% of their passes this term.

Moreover, the Anfield side have been fiercely linked with a move for Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio for a while, with the 22-year-old one of the most creative and technically proficient centre-halfs in the business, and Amorim could arrive with the "complete" defender - as remarked by talent scout Jacek Kulig - in tow.

But crucially, handing Amorim the keys could preserve Darwin Nunez's ever-improving presence at the club; the Uruguayan striker signed from SL Benfica in a club-record move totalling £85m in 2022, but missed 20 big chances in the English top-flight last season and was harangued for his profligacy.

He's a menacing, tenacious and spirited striker, however, and the Liverpool faithful have maintained the faith all the way - as, crucially, has Klopp.

This term, the 24-year-old has posted 11 goals and ten assists from just 20 starts in all competitions and has been sharper and more economical in his movements and influence.

Amorim likes to wear teams down and implement crisp and quick passing patterns before sundering the backline with laser-focussed through balls, and given Nunez's pace and energy, he will surely maintain his fine form under new management.

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