Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha has backed Ruben Amorim to succeed at Liverpool should the Reds opt to appoint him as Jurgen Klopp’s successor ahead of next season.

Palhinha played under Amorim at both Braga and Sporting CP prior to moving to the Premier League in 2022 and has seen firsthand the quality of the 39-year-old coach.

Given his success at Sporting, delivering the club’s first Primeira Liga title in 19 years in 2021 and leading the way again this season, Amorim has been touted for a number of top jobs. Liverpool is one obvious vacancy coming up and Palhinha sees his former boss thriving at the next level up.

“Yes, of course, although the pressure is different,” the player told O Jogo.

“When you coach a big Portuguese club, you have the pressure of the fans and the size of the club itself, which forces you to win. When you coach Liverpool, you have the pressure of the fans, the club and the whole world. The way it’s growing, I think it’s only a matter of time.

“Ruben is a very good coach, one of the best in Portugal, he’s done an excellent job since Braga. He has an in-depth knowledge of the game and has a close relationship with the players. The way he’s growing, he won’t be in Portugal much longer.

“It won’t be for lack of opportunities [if he doesn’t] leave Portugal. He has dreams and ambitions of winning another title for Sporting and then the future will be in his hands.”

Jurgen KloppJurgen Klopp

Liverpool need to replace Jurgen Klopp / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

Klopp announced in January his intention to step down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season. With temporary sporting director Jorg Schmadtke also leaving at the end of the January transfer window, the club was tasked with planning a whole new chapter and was keen to have in place a new football hierarchy before turning attention to manager recruitment.

Michael Edwards has returned in a new bigger role than before, with Richard Hughes also set to join as sporting director when he leaves Bournemouth at the end of the season.

90min reported last month that Liverpool have seven names on a shortlist to replace Klopp.

Xabi Alonso is a leading contender owing to his work at Bayer Leverkusen and prior connection to Liverpool, although Bayern Munich covet him for similar reasons. Others being seriously considered are Julian Nagelsmann, Roberto De Zerbi and Ange Postecoglou. There has been hesitancy with regard to Amorim, who while admired by the Anfield hierarchy, lacks experience in one of Europe’s top five leagues. Unai Emery and Roger Schmidt have also been discussed internally.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is not seen as a contender, having seen his stock fall since being sacked by Aston Villa, but could still get an interview out of respect should he ask for one.


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