Liverpool’s next manager has an outside chance of coming from Ligue 1 as the higher ups at Anfield continue to search for suitable candidate to succeed Jurgen Klopp.
That’s the view of Jonathan Johnson, a French football expert and journalist who has recently been speaking about the soon-to-be vacant managerial role at Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp shocked the world last month by announcing his intention to stepdown as Reds boss come the end of the season.
While Johnson concedes that it’s unlikely that anybody from the France’s topflight would take over at Anfield, he believes Lille’s Paulo Fonseca could be a potential outsider as Liverpool assess their options.
Fonseca has done an admirable job at Lille and has previously managed clubs the size of Roma, FC Porto, and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Despite his lack of experience managing a globally recognized club, he could be a wild card that may surprise a lot of people should he get an opportunity at a club the size of Liverpool.
What was said on the Ligue 1 manager?
Speaking on both Liverpool and Barcelona – who share the same situation heading into the summer – Johnson said to Caught Offside:
“We know Liverpool and Barcelona are going to be on the lookout for new managers at the end of this coming season, and while I’d love to say there’s someone managing in Ligue 1 who could be in the conversation for either of those clubs, my honest opinion is that there’s not currently anyone in the French top flight who could step in to either role,” Johnson said.
The French football journalist concedes that Xabi Alonso is the favourite, but added his ‘outsider’ for the job.
“For Liverpool, it’s very hard to see past the obvious fit of Xabi Alonso.”
“The work he’s doing with this Bayer Leverkusen team this season is just phenomenal if you look at their record.”
“But it’s also the way they play, like in their commanding victory over Bayern Munich at the weekend, then the links are obvious, especially as Carlo Ancelotti has extended his contract as Real Madrid manager – it falls really nicely for Xabi Alonso to tread the path to Anfield.”
“If I was to pick anybody from Ligue 1 as a bit of an outsider who might be worth considering I might be tempted to go for Lille’s Paulo Fonseca because of the experience he’s had at some big clubs.”
“He’s done decent work with Lille since coming in, but even then I still think it would be quite a leap for him to go to a Liverpool or a Barcelona, with all due respect.”
Fonseca at Lille
Fonseca enjoys a 57% win rate as a manager across his entire career – winning over 300 games in his career.
He is a three-time Ukrainian champion with Shakhtar Donetsk and won the Portuguese Cup with Braga.
Fonseca’s current side, LOSC Lille, are fifth in Ligue 1 and are only four points off Nice in second place.
According to a report from View from the Touchline, Fonseca’s Lille setup with a 4-3-2-1:
“LOSC play a fairly classic 4-2-3-1 formation with a goalkeeper, two full-backs, two centre-backs including a returner, a double pivot consisting of a scrummager and a playmaker at the back, two wingers, an attacking midfielder and a striker at the back.”