Premier League • England

The all-conquering XI Liverpool could pick in 2024/25 if Xabi Alonso is appointed manager and with triple swoop on

James Pennington
Xabi Alonso's potential Liverpool lineup

Five potential signings feature in what could be Xabi Alonso's ideal Liverpool XI

Liverpool’s potential XI for the 2024/25 season looks as stacked as ever, though a new man in the dugout could have some effect as to who will come into the starting lineup.

Following the announcement of Jurgen Klopp’s departure from Anfield at the end of the current campaign, the Reds will have begun the process of headhunting a new manager almost immediately.

Former Kop favourite and current Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso is an early favourite for the role, with TEAMtalk exclusively revealing that Liverpool have offered a three-year contract to the Spaniard.

Alonso is in his first full season with Leverkusen having previously only managed Real Sociedad’s B team prior to his arrival in Germany in October 2022, with Die Werkself having a truly outrageous season.

Leverkusen are the only team in Europe’s top five leagues to remain unbeaten at this stage of the season in all competitions, after topping their Europa League group, getting into the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal and currently topping the Bundesliga.

Should Alonso, who won the Champions League with Liverpool as a player in 2005, switch from Germany to England this summer, here is what his Liverpool XI could look like.

GK: Alisson Becker

A fairly straightforward shout for the goalkeeper role is Brazilian number one Alisson Becker.

Since switching from Rome to Merseyside in July 2018 for a fee of around £66.8m, Alisson has been the club’s undisputed number one with little reason to ever think of replacing him.

The Brazilian’s contract runs until the summer of 2027, so there is little worry surrounding his future.

The 31-year-old is undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers on the planet and whoever inherits this Liverpool squad will have no headaches over who is in the net.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold

Just like Alisson, there is little debate as to who should be Liverpool’s starting right-back moving forward.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has had the right-back position nailed down in the Reds starting XI for the best part of eight years, and there is little reason to replace him anytime soon.

The Liverpool youth academy graduate has a contract that runs until the end of next season and has already amassed over 300 appearances in all competitions for the club despite being only 25 years old.

Without a doubt one of the best right-backs in the world, it is imperative that whoever Liverpool’s manager next season is has Alexander-Arnold as one of their first names on the team sheet.

CB: Virgil van Dijk

Another member of the current Liverpool squad that Alonso would be desperate to retain is Dutch stalwart Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk joined the Reds from Southampton in January 2018 for a fee of around £75m, which was a world record fee for a defender at the time.

Since joining the club, he has helped Liverpool lift the Champions League, Premier League, the League Cup on two occasions, the FA Cup, Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

One of the best modern-day centre-backs of all time, van Dijk’s contract on Merseyside runs out at the end of next season along with Alexander-Arnold’s, so Liverpool will be desperate to re-sign the Dutchman instead of potentially losing him for free.

CB: Piero Hincapie

The first transfer that Liverpool could make happen is Leverkusen’s left-footed centre-back Piero Hincapie.

The 22-year-old has reportedly been watched by scouts from Liverpool both in Germany and whilst on international duty for Ecuador and is one of the defenders high on Liverpool’s list alongside Levi Colwill and Goncalo Inacio.

Hincapie is enjoying a tremendous season in Germany playing as the left centre-back in a back three, but would certainly look at home in a back four.

Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are not seen as the long-term solutions for the left centre-back role and neither is Ibrahima Konate, who is seen as the heir to van Dijk.

Should Alonso become Liverpool’s new man in the dugout, the Ecuadorian could follow him to Merseyside to become a key cog in their back line for years to come.

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LB: Ferdi Kadioglu

Ferdi Kadioglu is a 24-year-old full Turkish international who has starred for Fenerbahce this season at left-back.

With Alphonso Davies’ pending move to Real Madrid in the summer, Bayern Munich have reportedly turned their attention to current Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson.

The 29-year-old has largely struggled for game time this season due to injury, though he still has two years left on his current deal, by which time he would be 32 years old.

The Scottish international has been renowned for his work rate and tenacity, though that is likely to slowly diminish as he gets older.

Kadioglu is under contract at Fenerbahce until 2026 and would likely cost around £20m, though clubs such as Man City and Borussia Dortmund are also said to have interest in the left-back.

DM: Archie Gray

Leeds have taken the Championship by storm this season; after a slow start they find themselves second in the Championship with a real chance at promotion and 17-year-old Archie Gray has been pivotal to those ambitions.

Gray’s father, grandad and great-uncle also used to play for the Whites, so the defensive midfielder has a great affinity for the club.

Gray has sometimes partnered with Ethan Ampudu in a double pivot in Daniel Farke’s 4-2-3-1 this season which has been a masterstroke by the German manager.

The Englishman, who can also play at right-back, signed a new contract in January this year until the summer of 2028, so it would take an offer of around £50m Leeds to be tempted into a sale.

It may be his first season of professional football, but Gray has shown all of the ability and potential to go to the very top.

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CM: Alexis Mac Allister

World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister joined Liverpool in the summer for £55m from Brighton and has fit seamlessly into the Liverpool midfield.

The Argentinian has operated as either a centre-midfielder or a defensive-midfielder this campaign, though he is best operating in a more advanced role where he can create goalscoring opportunities or take on shots himself.

At just 25 years old Mac Allister could very well be a part of the Liverpool midfield for at least the next half-decade.

His versatility means whoever enters the Liverpool dugout will not only be getting a player of immense quality but of great tactical flexibility.

CM: Dominik Szoboszlai

Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai was another one of Liverpool’s more recent recruits as they aimed to rebuild their ageing midfield in the summer.

The 23-year-old has impressed whenever he has played this season and has struck a great partnership with fellow summer arrival Mac Allister.

Liverpool’s £60m investment on the face of it seems like a very smart one as he has the potential to hold down a place in that midfield for the next decade.

Whoever the next Liverpool manager is will be inheriting one of the best young attacking midfielders in the world.

LW: Florian Wirtz

Another Bayer Leverkusen player could be heading to Merseyside in the form of 20-year-old German international Florian Wirtz.

Wirtz has already racked up over 50 goal contributions in 100 league appearances for Leverkusen despite his age and looks primed for a big move sooner rather than later.

Leverkusen have reportedly set a price tag of around £111m for their star, which would break Liverpool’s record transfer if they were to do so.

Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota can all operate from the left flank, though the acquisition of Wirtz would set Liverpool up in attack for the next decade.

If Alonso does come in through the Anfield door, Wirtz will likely be high up on his shopping list.

RW: Johan Bakayoko

Johan Bakayoko has gone from strength to strength this campaign as his club PSV top the Dutch Eredivisie and remains unbeaten at this stage of this season, with his output pivotal to those efforts.

Current Liverpool right-winger Mohamed Salah has been under speculation of a move to Saudi Arabia for some time now, with it seemingly being a matter of when and not if the Egyptian moves to the Middle East.

Salah’s contract runs until the summer of 2025 by which time he will be 33 years old, so he will need adequately replacing sooner rather than later and 20-year-old Bakayoko has all of the raw abilities to develop into a world-class player.

The Belgian would offer a different type of profile to that of Salah, though there are not many like Salah.

PSV would command a fee of around £40m for their young forward, which could be seen as a huge bargain in years to come.

READ MORE ~ Who is Johan Bakayoko? The red-hot Belgian winger Liverpool and Man City are battling to sign

ST: Darwin Nunez

Darwin Nunez has come under a lot of scrutiny since joining Liverpool from Benfica in July 2022, with his goalscoring ability coming into question on numerous occasions.

The Uruguayan has scored 28 goals and registered 15 assists in 79 games in all competitions for the Reds, roughly equating to a goal contribution every two games.

The forward undoubtedly has an abundance of ability but often flounders in front of goal when presented with chances.

Though at just 24 years old, Nunez is worth persisting with and if Alonso can have a similar impact with Nunez as he has with Victor Boniface, Nunez could be chasing the golden boot in years to come.

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