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Alonso gives title verdict; picks surprise ‘key figure’ for the Reds

Xabi Alonso, who will begin his managerial career tomorrow with Real Sociedad B’s first match of the new season, says there is no reason why the Reds cannot win the Premier League title this season.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “What Liverpool did, it’s going to be tough to repeat but they have the project that is stable, they know what they want but the Premier League is tough. It’s still early days, but why not?”

Xabi Alonso responds to question about whether he’ll manage ‘special’ Liverpool one day

When selecting the most important player in the Reds’ side, most fans would choose Virgil van Dijk, one of the incredible front three, or perhaps Alisson, who is making decent progress in his recovery from injury.

The former Spanish international, though, chose someone who played in his own position: Jordan Henderson.

Alonso added: “Henderson has become a key figure in the changing room. I think he’s so respected, so important for his teammates – that’s the sense I get from watching in the stands.

“For the way they play it’s very important, the energy he has. He’s able to take that step forwards, not backwards to make that pressure a bit higher.

“The way he connects with the three players up front, they play very direct and the way Liverpool is playing is the Jurgen way – the way they played at Dortmund with him and the way they play at Liverpool now.”

Henderson has got a lot of stick over the years, but is now a European Cup-winning Liverpool captain with the approval of Alonso, one of the best midfielders of his generation, and also various other Reds legends like Steven Gerrard and Sir Kenny Dalglish.

If the Reds are to win the title, he will indeed be vitally important, and it seems Alonso, who remains a Liverpool fan, will be watching on whenever he gets the chance.

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