Xabi Alonso has signed his 'own Fernando Torres' as Liverpool considers Jürgen Klopp replacement


Within hours of Jürgen Klopp's announcement, speculation was ramped up over who will replace the German boss at Liverpool at the end of the season. The name at the top of most people's wishlist was a familiar one to Liverpool supporters: Xabi Alonso, who is making a name for himself in management at Bayer Leverkusen.

Anfield icon Alonso took up his first senior role with the Bundesliga side in October 2022 with Leverkusen struggling towards the wrong end of the table. He was able to inspire an immediate turnaround, guiding the club to a sixth-placed finish and a place in the last four of the Europa League.

This season though, things have been taken up a notch. Leverkusen sits top of the table after an unbeaten start and are on course to end Bayern Munich's monopoly of the division. The last team to do that was Borussia Dortmund in 2011/12 with Klopp at the helm.

The links to Anfield look set to continue for some time yet with Alonso seemingly a leading contender to take over from Klopp. Reports of a contract clause allowing him to leave Leverkusen for a former club at the end of the season have been dismissed but his head may be turned if Liverpool comes calling.

Speaking after Klopp's announcement, Alonso insisted his focus remained on Leverkusen. “I am not in that moment to think about the next step. I’m in a great place, I’m enjoying it and I think it’s the right place," he insisted.

And Alonso has potentially boosted his side's chances of pipping Bayern to the title with a shrewd January acquisition. With top scorer Victor Boniface sidelined, Leverkusen has brought in Borja Iglesias in on loan from Real Betis.

Iglesias, 31, has been with Betis since 2019 and has previously admitted he models his game on that of another Kop favorite, Fernando Torres. "He has always been a reference point for me. I always look to strikers with different styles but Fernando has been an idol since I was little," Iglesias said.

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