Pat Nevin believes Liverpool may overlook Xabi Alonso

Pat Nevin is not convinced Liverpool’s owners will pick Xabi Alonso to replace Jurgen Klopp.

Bayer Leverkusen boss Alonso, 42, made more than 200 appearances for the Reds and has been strongly linked with the upcoming managerial vacancy at Anfield.

Yet Nevin, who spoke to LiveScore ahead of tonight’s clash between the Reds and his former club Chelsea, believes Fenway Sports Group may go in a different direction.

The Scot, 60, said: “[Alonso] would be nice and it’s a lovely thought.

“All the bits of jigsaw look as if they fit together nicely but they might not. You have to think [as a chief executive], ‘Is he willing to do what you want him to do?’

“Who is going to turn down this job? Almost nobody. Not only is it a club the size of Liverpool but they’re on the rise.

Read more: Hayes hails maturity of Chelsea players after Paris FC win

“These owners will not make a decision based on the heart because that is not how they work. The head will come first.

“Club statements have said it will be data-driven, so you now have to look at things completely differently.

“Not only do you have to be the right person, it’s also how you’re going to get your players. How are you going to run the club? How are you going to do everything?

“You need to know you’re a manager that’s going to say, ‘I’ve got my ideas but they’ll be secondary to the data’. And it’s probably brilliant. It might be a great idea to do it that way for Liverpool.”

Chelsea have struggled for consistency this season
Chelsea have struggled for consistency this season

As a Stamford Bridge cult hero, Nevin will be cheering on the visitors this evening.

But the BBC pundit is not surprised the club he used to dazzle on the wing for have struggled for consistency.

He added: “Looking at their methodology and the age groups they were bringing in — I always thought it could be absolutely brilliant in two or three years.

“But not now. Absolutely not now. It doesn’t work. You’re bringing in people who are younger and a lot of them have never played in the Premier League.

“The Premier League’s hard. You’ve got to learn it. It’s English football. They’re all so young.

“They might become a brilliant team. But can you tell me a team that’s gone and brought in a bunch of young players and then won the league or got top four?

“Sometimes it can happen because there are good players there but sometimes it won’t, so I’m not surprised with how it’s gone this season.”

Read more: Van Dijk ‘fully committed’ to Liverpool

Cole Palmer has scored 11 goals for Chelsea this season
Cole Palmer has scored 11 goals for Chelsea this season

One player who has impressed Nevin is Cole Palmer, who he previously likened to one of the Premier League’s most skilful operators.

He said: “I think Palmer has got that extra special thing that he can open up defences and do things very few people can.

“While he was at [Manchester] City, the first or second time I saw him come on as a sub, he made a couple of mistakes but I described him as having what it takes to be the next Kevin De Bruyne.

“I got a lot of sideways glances at the time but technically he’s got that sort of stuff.”

Pat Nevin will be an interested viewer when Liverpool host Chelsea tonight
Pat Nevin will be an interested viewer when Liverpool host Chelsea tonight

Despite having red-hot Palmer in their ranks, Nevin fears Chelsea could be in for a long night at Anfield.

He added: “Jurgen’s making such good decisions — they’ve only had one domestic defeat this season!

“He’s leaving at the top of his game tactically and technically, which is incredible.

“It’s a really tall order for Chelsea both tonight and in the Carabao Cup final — but I’m looking forward to watching.”

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