Benitez backs Alonso’s potential but urges caution over Liverpool link

Rafa Benitez has praised Xabi Alonso’s managerial skills but issued a word of caution to his former player regarding the vacant manager’s position at Liverpool.

Alonso, currently at the helm of Bayer Leverkusen who are surprisingly leading the Bundesliga table, has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield after the German’s announced departure at the end of the season.

Benitez, who managed Alonso during their successful Champions League run in 2005, acknowledged the midfielder’s tactical intelligence even during his playing days. However, he expressed concern that the media hype surrounding Alonso’s potential return to Liverpool might be fueled more by social media trends than a thorough evaluation.

“He was clever and analysed,” Benitez said, referencing a Champions League quarter-final clash against Juventus. “He learned quickly.”

Benitez went on to detail a specific tactical instruction he gave Alonso during that crucial match, highlighting the midfielder’s ability to follow instructions and adapt to the game plan.

“He’s a big name, good professional, good lad, clever, doing really well, so I understand why [he’s linked with Liverpool],” Benitez conceded. “But imagine Steven Gerrard was around and doing well. Then it would be: ‘Gerrard!’ With social media everything is going too fast so that people don’t see the big picture.”

With the quadruple still a possibility, Liverpool find themselves searching for a successor to Klopp who can maintain the club’s recent success. While Alonso’s credentials are undeniable, Benitez’s caution serves as a reminder of the importance of a measured approach amidst the media frenzy surrounding potential replacements.

Written by Owen Sanders

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