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Xabi Alonso added to managerial shortlist as Tottenham remains on the hunt for Antonio Conte’s replacement

The 41-year-old former Spanish international midfielder has been a breath of fresh air at the BayArena since his arrival in October in the wake of Gerardo Seoane’s departure, taking the club from 17th to 6th as well as instituting a deep run to the semi-finals of the Europa League

Perhaps there is something in the genetic code when it comes to former Spanish midfielders after yet another bright central talent from the Iberian nation has emerged on the managerial scene in Europe this season in the vein of Xabi Alonso.

The 41-year-old former international, who plied his trade at some of the biggest clubs anywhere in Europe across a fantastic playing career, has immediately taken like a duck to water in the technical area at Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen while quickly becoming one of the hottest properties on the continent.

It should come as no surprise that the Tolosa-born tactician now finds his name on the managerial shortlist at Tottenham (per reports from Sky Sports and other sources) as Spurs chairman Daniel Levy continues to lead the hunt to source a proper long-term replacement for former boss Antonio Conte.

Alonso joins Julian Nagelsmann and Vincent Kompany as potential suitors for the north London side come the summer, all of whom have impressed in their own right and profile as the type of manager that could be in at the club for a long-term stay in the English capital.

The Spaniard has been a sensational appointment at Leverkusen since his arrival back in October when he replaced Swiss manager Gerardo Seoane, with the 44-year-old former BSC Young Boys leaving the club in a heap down in 17th as many felt they may be incapable of staving off disaster on the back of their word start to a season in four decades.

But Alonso, after some initial hiccups, has guided Die Werkself up to 6th and within striking distance of a top-four finish while also helping them into the semi-finals of the Europa League, with only Bayern Munich (47) and Borussia Dortmund (46) securing more points in the league than Leverkusen’s 43 since his arrival at the BayArena.

Despite having never taken command at full club level, Alonso repaid Rolfes’ faith in his appointment ten times over, with the former German international remarking that securing the right appointment is all that matters.

“It is true that Xabi did not have the experience as a head coach at this level and also in this situation. But, for me, it is always important to consider the quality of the head coach and I just knew that he had the quality to improve the team.

—  Simon Rolfes when speaking with Sky Sports

In that sense, Tottenham and Daniel Levy can very much take a page out of Leverkusen’s playbook this summer.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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