Who is the perfect replacement for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool backed by numbers? | Football News - Hindustan Times

Who is the perfect replacement for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool backed by numbers?

Feb 25, 2024 05:56 PM IST

What next for Liverpool after the departure of Jurgen Klopp?

Jurgen Klopp is leaving Liverpool at the end of the season and discussions have begun as to who will be his successor.

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures on the touchline. (AFP)
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures on the touchline. (AFP)

Klopp has had a fairly-tale stay at Liverpool. There is not a single noteworthy trophy he has not won since joining the club in 2015.

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He oversaw Liverpool ending their Premier League trophy drought of 30 years in 2019-20. In the Premier League era, he led the Reds to their first league title. The season before he had won the Champions League too, Europe's top-tier club competition.

To all intents and purposes, it was Klopp who brought Liverpool back from the dead, in a manner of speaking. Liverpool sympathisers are sad and upset that the ongoing season is going to be the German's last at Anfield and a great many of them believe he is irreplaceable.

However, Carteret Analytics has used its data expertise to come up with quite a few names who can prove to be a nice fit for the Reds once Klopp walks away.

Carteret has used the following seven metrics: Objective achievement, strategic intelligence, Tactical command, attacking co-efficient, success-adjusted attacking co-coefficient, shot conversion, and overall possession.

The results are surprising, to say the least. As of now former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, who was an integral part of the Champions League-winning Reds team in 2005, is considered the overwhelming favourite to replace Klopp. First and foremost, he is doing a great job at Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen. Under him, the team has remained unbeaten for 33 games across competitions, which is a new German record. Unless some unbelievable developments unfold in the next couple of months, Leverkusen look a cinch to win the Bundesliga.

Second, Alonso has an emotional connection with them having played for them for a long time. He was one of the goal-scorers for the Reds in that Champions League final. Surprisingly, Carteret findings don't find him the perfect fit. Out of the top-five candidates, Alonso ranks last at 5th. Thomas Tuchel, who led Chelsea to a Champions League trophy in 2021 and who recently announced he was leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season, is not the perfect fit either.

So who is it that Carteret numbers back for the Liverpool job? Hold your breath! Ever heard of Ruben Amorim? No? He is currently managing Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese league. Under him, the team made waves in 2021 when they lifted their first top-flight trophy in almost two decades.

The findings are based on actual results achieved over the last six seasons with the most recent seasons getting more weightage. The competitiveness of a league has also been taken into account. As per Carteret, Klopp's overall rating is 151.0. But we use him here only as a reference. The top-five starts after him. Amorim is behind him at 144.7, followed by Julian Nagelsmann (128.0), Tuchel (119.5), Ange Postecoglou (116.5) and Alonso (106.9).

Nagelsmann is currently the interim manager of the German national team. He has managed Bayern in the past. He also appears to have Klopp's blessings who rates him highly. Meanwhile under Postecoglou, Tottenham Hotspur are doing well this season. At present, they are in contention to finish inside the top four.

We don't know how much attention the corridors of power at Liverpool will pay to these findings but they are interesting nonetheless. If nothing else, they have certainly boosted Nagelsmann's case particularly. With Klopp's backing, he will be looked at for sure. Like Klopp he is German - mind you, so is Tuchel - and his contract with the German football team runs out in July.

Alonso too has a lot going for him but we don't know what will happen in case Leverkusen lift the title. We don't know if he is totally interested in making a switch either. There are reports that although he is in talks with the Reds, there is no guarantee. Besides Bayern also appear in the frame for his signature. For now, it could be anyone replacing Klopp, if truth be told.

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