Danny Murphy has confessed that he has no issues about Jurgen Klopp leaving Liverpool, having already identified who he believes is the ‘perfect’ replacement.
The 56-year-old boss has been linked with the vacant Germany national team role, after Hansi Flick was axed following a 4-1 defeat to Japan.
Although the Reds manager’s agent has been quick to put some distance between his client and the reports, it has naturally led to speculation over who might be able to take over at Anfield.
Klopp’s period in charge has been one of the most successful in the iconic club’s illustrious history – ending their 30-year wait for an English top-flight title and adding a sixth Champions League.
Yet Murphy has nonetheless lined up who he believes would be able to step in if the worst came to be for Liverpool supporters and Klopp decides to walk away.
‘I’ve got the answer, so I’m not worried about (Klopp leaving),’ Murphy said on talkSPORT. ‘I think De Zerbi is perfect. He’ll be ready then (to take over).
‘I think he plays great football, he looks a strong character, he’s learning his trade in this league with Brighton and doing it superbly well. I don’t see a better candidate.
‘Things change in football really quickly. So, the flavour of the month might be someone else this time next year,’ said the former England international. ‘But I think he’s (De Zerbi) the real deal.
‘There is something about him. After meeting him as well, (I can say) he’s got real gravitas. A real presence. And I love the way his teams play.
‘But I can’t see Klopp going for some time yet. He’s got this new influx of players, and he seems enthused by Liverpool’s start (to the season) and the promising start of some of the new signings.’
De Zerbi has won widespread plaudits for his work since taking over from Graham Potter – having been touted to perhaps struggle to fill those large boots on the South Coast.
Having come in after the start of last season, the Italian guided the Seagulls to reach European qualification for the first time in their history.
In reaching the Europa League – where they will face Ajax, Marseille and AEK Athens – Brighton pulled off memorable wins over Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
De Zerbi interestingly also has a brilliant record against Klopp, having won twice and drawn once against the German manager in three games, all of which came last season.