Before I get into the bones of this, be warned I’m a massive Xabi Alonso fan. I’m still bitter with Rafa Benitez for the way he treated Alonso in his last couple of seasons at Liverpool and especially for trying to replace Alonso with of all people Gareth Barry.
Even with my love for Alonso, I think it would be a very poor move from Jürgen Klopp to bring him back to Liverpool as a player next summer. Why? Well for one thing there’s the price tag. I’ve seen a figure of £10 million floating around, that Bayern Munich would be looking for him. That’s right £10 million for a player, who is in the twilight of his career. Yes I know he still can pick a pass, score a goal, play ninety minutes fourty odd times a year but, doing this in Germany and Spain is alot different from doing it week in and week out in the Premier League. Yes, he has Premier League experience, but the league has changed alot since he left to sign for Real Madrid all those years ago and I don’t know would he be able to cope with it. And if he can’t would he damage his Liverpool legacy by not being able to cope with the changed league?
Secondly, and for me more importantly, if Alonso did come back to Liverpool who would he replace in the Liverpool starting eleven with a full selection of midfield players to pick from? The captain Jordan Henderson, the engine Emre Can, the vice captain James Milner, the born again Brazilian Lucas Levia or the new pretender to the throne Jordan Rossiter. Let’s not forget that Liverpool are also linked with Ilkay Gundogan aswell. And if Klopps relationship with Gundogan is as good as some are making it out to be, his arrival at Liverpool is a real possibility either this January or next summer. There’s the argument that Milner can be played out wide, that’s fine, but would anyone drop a young, energetic, box to box midfielder like Emre Can for Alonso or an important player like Jordan Henderson for him? If he comes back, will young Rossiters chances of first team football be affected? In my opinion yes.
Look there’s no doubt Alonso is a fantastic player. An experienced player who has won all there is to win in both world and club football but, if Jürgen Klopp was to bring him back to Anfield, for me it would have to be as a coach. Let him pass on all his experience to Can and Rossiter. Let him help develop Jordan Henderson into becoming a world class midfield player. Let him give Lucas positional tips on how to be a half decent Defensive Midfielder. And let him help Jürgen Klopp get Liverpool back to the pinnacle of English and Europe football.
After all, how many fans would welcome Steven Gerrard back to Liverpool with open arms in a playing capacity at the age he’s at now? I know we all love a happy ending and all us Liverpool fans have an unhealthy, unwavering love affair with Alonso but ask yourself this, how many times have players returned to a former club and it’s not worked out for them? I can only think of one successful player to return to Liverpool after leaving them and actually enhanced his legacy at the club and that was Ian Rush. But as with all these transfer rumours, they have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Only time will tell if a move materialises or not.
Written by @themoanyone