Former Liverpool and Fulham midfielder can see Brighton boss managing Manchester United one day

Former Liverpool player Danny Murphy believes Roberto De Zerbi should stay at Brighton for now but can see him as a Manchester United manager one day.
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The Italian succeeded Graham Potter as head coach in September 2022 and since then he has led Albion into Europe for the first time in the club's history and now they are in the knockout stages of the Europa League.

The Seagulls boss confirmed he is in talks with the Sussex side about a new contract and Murphy believes staying put on the south coast works well for both parties.

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He said on talkSPORT: "Having met him [De Zerbi] a couple of times and watched them [Brighton] train, that took me to a new level of respect for what he is doing and then seeing the team, they have got such an identity and a way of playing.

"They are really well coached, play with really good intensity, I think he has taken Brighton on a level. I think he's got an ego, in a good way, he's got a bit about him and I think he's strong and doesn't take any you know what. I think he could handle big players. You never know until you are there [at the top level] but I think it would be great for him to stay a bit longer at Brighton and great for them and also we'd see a bigger body of work to judge him on."

Murphy does have some reservations about the 44-year-old, however. The former England international feels De Zerbi, whose current contract at the Amex runs until 2026, rotates his starting XI too much from week to week, even last season when they weren't in Europe.

Therefore, if he were to move to a so-called bigger club, Murphy feels he may have to ditch that approach as that may not go down well with some of the "top players".

Roberto De Zerbi, Manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, looks on prior to the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford FC at American Express Community Stadium on December 06, 2023 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)Roberto De Zerbi, Manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, looks on prior to the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford FC at American Express Community Stadium on December 06, 2023 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Roberto De Zerbi, Manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, looks on prior to the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford FC at American Express Community Stadium on December 06, 2023 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
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He added: "The only thing I'd say in regards to his credentials, and he's got many qualities I like, the only thing I've seen at Brighton a lot is the constant rotation of players. I know they are playing a lot of games but he does it all the time and I think when you are a big club you need a core group and they won't be rotated - the big boys. If you manage top, top players, you are not going in and out every week, you are playing every week.

"If you look at [Manchester] City, you could name six who play all the time. Liverpool, you can name their best seven or eight. He does it all the time, even when they weren't in Europe, he was swapping it all the time. I think at a big club you would have to deal with a different type of ego there.

"Maybe it's easier to keep a more consistent team when you've got super experienced international players so he wouldn't have that problem but I think that's the only question mark I see. We've seen it with [Erik] Ten Hag. He is learning on the job, he's never had to deal with these problems before."

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is under pressure to keep his job as they sit seventh in the Premier League and could be knocked out of the Champions League group stage this month.

When asked if he could see De Zerbi, who has been linked with Real Madrid, at Old Trafford one day, Murphy replied: "I can, yes. I really can."