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  • Liverpool: Five Reasons Why Ruben Amorim Is A Perfect Fit At Anfield

Liverpool: Five reasons why Ruben Amorim is a perfect fit at Anfield

Liverpool were dealt a blow in their pursuit for Jurgen’s Klopp replacement when the club’s reported favourite for the position, Xabi Alonso, announced he would be remaining at Bayer Leverkusen.

Breaking reports coming out of Sky Germany state that the club have reached an agreement in principle to appoint Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim to become the new manager at Anfield next season.

Newly-appointed CEO of football for FSG Michael Edwards and sporting director Richard Hughes have wasted no time in identifying the man to lead the new era at Liverpool.

Planet Sport’s Connor Burgess looks at five reasons why Ruben Amorim is the perfect man to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. 

 

Brings a winning mentality

The Liverpool that Klopp leaves behind is a far cry from the club he inherited in 2015. The German succeeded Brendan Rodgers in October of the 2015/16 season after an underwhelming start to the campaign.

Rodgers followed his incredible title-chasing campaign with a sixth-placed finish in the league in the 2014/15 season which ended in a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Stoke City - and an underwhelming return to the Champions League, finishing third in the group behind FC Basel.

Klopp has won everything during his Anfield tenure and within his success lies the expectations of his successor.

Winning has become an expectation amongst the players and the fans - and despite Amorim’s five-year career in management he has instilled a winning mentality in his sides.

Only three weeks after Amorim was promoted to coach Braga’s senior side, he picked up his first trophy.

He defeated Porto in the 2020 Taca de Liga final and during his three months in charge of Braga took them from 16th to third in the Primeira Liga and going unbeaten in the league.

After three consecutive Taca de Liga trophies at both Braga and Sporting, he will be aiming to win the competition for a fourth time in May.

Since taking over at Sporting, Amorim guided his side to their first league title in 19 years in his first full season in Lisbon.

Sporting look set to win their second Primeira Liga title under Amorim after beating Benfica 2-1 in the Lisbon derby on Saturday and sit four points clear of their rivals with a game in hand and five games to go. 

 

Elite passion and man-management

Edwards and Hughes are reportedly looking for a passionate manager to create a connection with the Liverpool fans in the same manner Klopp has with the Anfield faithful.

Amorim was famously sent off in the 2021 Taca de Liga final after an intense argument with Braga boss Carlos Carvalhal in the dugout. He is not afraid to voice his opinions on the pitch and had to watch his Sporting side win the cup from the stands.

The Portuguese manager has been receiving his plaudits this season - and rightfully so for the work he has been doing at Sporting which has seen him emerge as the favourite for the Liverpool job.

Vasco Seabra and Vitor Campelos, head coaches of Primeira Liga sides Estoril and Gil Vicente, spoke to Sky Sports to heap praise on Amorim’s impact in Portuguese football.

Seabra said: "His team is really organised and fights a lot, he is always trying to improve his players too. I think he wins a lot with his communication, it is really, really good.

“His message is clear and it is easy to understand. The players connect with him easily. Even on the outside, for the reporters and the public, it is really simple and really concrete."

"He has this positive mindset, a really good mentality," said Campelos. "He has created a good connection between him and the players and also with the president. He is always straight with the players and even with the press he is a straight person."

The feeling within Portuguese football is that Amorim is destined to leave Sporting at the end of the season for one of Europe’s elite clubs.

His quick rise into the spotlight is no doubt down to the passion in which he exuberates on the sidelines and instils into his players.

Amorim’s name has appeared linked alongside the soon-to-be-vacant Bayern Munich and Barcelona jobs - and he has also been tipped to succeed Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea and Erik Ten Hag at Manchester United.

However, broadcast journalist Angus Scott recalls meeting Amorim on The Debrief podcast and believes that he is the perfect man to replace Klopp at Liverpool.

He said: "There was a way about him. You look at some managers, and they have an aura and a presence about them. The way that that Sporting crowd had bought into what he has brought to the club, and how he made them successful, and how he stands on the verge of winning another title, which Sporting have been crying out for many years.

“I just thought that he was that sort of person who could fill Anfield with aura, with personality, and fill those shoes that Jurgen Klopp had.”

 

Players can seamlessly play Amorim’s system

Last season was a campaign to forget for Liverpool, as their performances saw the side finish fifth in the league and fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2016.

The Reds found their form towards the business end of the season, avoiding defeat in the final 11 matches after the 4-1 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was the catalyst for their fine form as he found himself playing as an inverted full-back as Klopp looked to revolutionise his side’s fortunes.

The change allowed Liverpool to utilise their right-back’s passing ability as he moved into midfield when in possession, with Andy Robertson creating a back three with Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate.

This allowed the midfield and attack to push further up the pitch and create overloads in the opposition half.

Amorim has employed a 3-4-3 formation throughout his managerial career and it has been the staple of his success thus far.

His possession-based system emulates the demands that Klopp asks of his Liverpool players. The forwards are given the freedom of the pitch to confuse opposition defences and create a fluid attack.

They are the first to press the opposition when losing possession and are instructed to track back as Sporting transition to a 5-4-1 when out of possession.

The aim is to transition quickly from defence to attack, one of the three centre-backs will carry the ball further up the pitch creating a diamond in midfield to allow the wingers and wing-backs space on the touchline.

Amorim sets his side up with defensive solidity whilst giving his players the freedom to play expansive attacking football. 

 

Develops and nurtures young talent 

One of the defining characteristics of Amorim’s success at Sporting is his ability to produce and nurture young talent.

His side boasts an average age of 25 and he has placed emphasis on integrating young players and academy products into the first-team.

Goncalo Inacio (22) has cemented himself in the left centre-back spot of Amorim’s back three system with Ousmane Diomande (20) on the right-side of veteran and former Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates.

Both players have been linked with big-money moves away from Lisbon this summer as their impressive performances have positioned Sporting to win another league title.

Inacio has been the standout of many academy players that have enjoyed success under Amorim. Daniel Braganca and Eduardo Quaresma have contributed to the side throughout the season and look poised to become first-team regulars in the near future.

Geny Catamo has propelled himself into the right wing-back position in what has been a breakout season for the Mozambique academy product.

Returning after a loan spell at CS Maritimo in which he only made nine appearances, he has featured 22 times for Sporting and recorded five goals - scoring the only two goals in Sporting’s win over Benfica at the weekend.

Liverpool have produced their own talent throughout Klopp’s tenure - most notably Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones.

Jarrell Quansah and Conor Bradley have been the standout academy products this season, excelling in the absence of Joel Matip and Alexander-Arnold. 

An injury-ridden campaign has led to Klopp entrusting his young players to ease the burden on the squad.

Players such as James McConnell, Bobby Clark and Jayden Danns have been thrust into the spotlight this season and all picked up League Cup winners medals back in February.

 

Has the resourcefulness to build Liverpool 2.0 

Arguably Liverpool’s most important sale of the Klopp era was Phillipe Coutinho’s £146million move to Barcelona in 2018.

The sale allowed the Reds to pay £75million for Van Dijk and helped fund a move for goalkeeper Alisson the following summer.

FSG have proven they can make funds available after the club made a £111million bid for Moises Caicedo, who subsequently moved to Chelsea. But John Henry relies on smart recruitment to stay in line with the Premier League’s sustainability rules and financial fair play.

Sporting have operated at a similar capacity over the years, selling their star players to Europe’s top clubs.

Under Amorim’s stewardship, the club have sold Manuel Ugarte and Nuno Mendes to PSG, Pedro Porro to Tottenham, Matheus Nunes to Wolves and Joao Palhinha to Fulham, generating €204million in sales.

The club have impressively replaced their outgoings for a fraction of the price, with midfielders Morten Hjulmand and Hidemasa Morita joining for a combined €21.5million.

Full-backs Ivan Fresneda and Ruben Vinagre joined for a combined €19million. Whilst the latter is currently out on loan at Hull City, Amorim’s talent identification in finding cut-priced players that fit into his system is expert.

Victor Gyokeres’ acquisition for €20million from Coventry last summer is the most impressive so far. He has notched 51 goal contributions in 42 appearances in his first season in Lisbon.

The Swedish striker may be on the move again this summer and with a €100million release clause in his contract, it could represent another shrewd deal by Amorim. 

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