Xabi Alonso has been told to make a Liverpool star his player-coach if he ends up replacing Jurgen Klopp as manager.
Last month Jurgen Klopp made the shock announcement that he will step down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season, nine years after he took the top job at Anfield.
The German coach has led Liverpool to four major trophies, including the club’s first Premier League crown 30 years after their previous top flight title.
Klopp will leave extremely big shoes to fill, and Xabi Alonso is being tipped as the perfect replacement.
The former midfielder knows Liverpool well from his five-year sting at Anfield between 2004 and 2009, while this season he has certainly proven his coaching credentials.
Alonso took charge of Bayer Leverkusen in 2022, and this season he has transformed the club into Bundesliga title contenders.
His side are currently two points ahead of Bayern Munich at the top of the table and, after booking a place in the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal, are still yet to lose a domestic match this season.
A long list of top coaches including Carlo Ancelotti, Zinedine Zidane and Luciano Spalletti have been linked with the Anfield job, but Alonso remains the top candidate.
With many fans already expecting him to replace Klopp, some have advised him to make an unusual appointment as soon as he gets the job.
Some fans believe Alonso should appoint his former Spain teammate Thiago Alcantara as a player-coach.
The midfielder has been plagued by injuries since joining Liverpool from Bayern in a £20 million move in 2020.
The 32-year-old returned from a nine-month injury lay-off in Liverpool’s 3-1 Premier League defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, but it appears he suffered another injury during his five-minute cameo.
While some supporters will be happy to see the back of Thiago when his contract expires at the end of the season, others want Alonso to keep him on in a player-coach capacity.
“Thiago as a couch/Player could work really well for all parties,” one Liverpool fan on X said, while another commented: “If this works… a new Premier League era starts.”
The idea of Thiago coaching is certainly an interesting one; In June Diogo Jota, Fabinho and Joel Matip were spotted working towards their UEFA coaching badges at the club’s training centre, but Thiago did not join them.
However, other fans are less enthusiastic about the idea of Thiago taking up a new role at the club.
“He [Alonso] definitely would not want Thiago playing,” one fan said, while another cruelly joked “Thiago would still pick up as injury as coach.”