Premier League • England

Liverpool news: Robbie Fowler names ‘top manager’ he’s ‘always liked’ as Jurgen Klopp replacement

Mauricio Pochettino and Unai Emery

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler feels Aston Villa boss Unai Emery would be the ideal man to replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

Klopp, 56, has presided over Liverpool’s fortunes for eight seasons after arriving from Borussia Dortmund in 2015. The German has enjoyed considerable success with the Merseysiders, guiding the club to its first Premier League title in 2019-2020. He has also led them to Champions League glory, an FA Cup and an EFL Cup title.

However, last season saw a dip in form, with the Reds finishing down in fifth to miss out on the Champions League.

And they needed a late-season rally to challenge for the top four, with seven wins and four draws in their final 11 games.

Klopp’s reign as Liverpool chief came under scrutiny during the campaign as they won just two of their opening eight matches.

A few names were put forward as possible replacements. However, the Liverpool hierarchy stuck with the man who has achieved so much with the north-west giants.

Emery’s name was not among them. But Fowler confessed that he is a big fan of the Spaniard and felt he was given a raw deal when in charge of Arsenal.

“I’ve always liked Unai Emery, who took over at Villa Park in October,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

“I know he didn’t do that well at Arsenal, although, under him, they did reach the Europa League final where they lost to Chelsea.

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“What he didn’t deserve was to be mocked at times at the Emirates for struggling to make himself understood with his less-than-perfect English.

“That was completely unfair and the wrong perception of a man who, I have thought for some time, is a top, top manager.”

Fowler backs Emery for Liverpool job

Emery worked wonders at Aston Villa after replacing Steven Gerrard last term. He guided the West Midlanders to seventh and a spot in the Europa Conference League.

The 51-year-old has already achieved great success in European competitions. He won the Europa League three times with Sevilla and once while in charge of Villarreal.

The former Paris saint-German chief admits he wants cup success with Villa. And Fowler, who scored 171 Liverpool goals, would welcome the Spaniard to Anfield.

“When, at one stage last season, there was some talk of Jurgen Klopp possibly leaving Liverpool, I’m thinking to myself I wouldn’t mind Emery as the next Liverpool boss,” he added.

“I can’t pay a bigger compliment to him than that.”

Klopp is unlikely to be leaving Liverpool anytime soon, however, as he is busy rebuilding his side.

Some high-profile exits over the past couple of years have seen a few new faces arrive.

And the Reds have already acquired Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister this summer.

Further arrivals are expected as Klopp plots to ensure there is no repeat of last season in the upcoming campaign.

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