Arne Slot is set to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool: everything you need to know about Red’s potential new manager

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Arne Slot looks set to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager after an agreement was reached between Feyenoord and the Reds for the highly-rated tactician. Klopp announced in January that he would leave Anfield at the end of the 2023/24 season and the Premier League giants are now closing in on the German’s replacement in Slot, who will join this summer.

“The only thing I can say about it is that the clubs are negotiating,” Slot told ESPN Netherlands earlier this week prior to Feyenoord’s 3-1 win over Go Ahead Eagles. “The clubs have to do their job. And then I sit in the waiting room and as the ‘main character’ I have to respect that. It will undoubtedly become clear in the coming days. It seems clear to me that I would like to go to Liverpool,” he added to it. “Now I’m waiting to see whether the clubs reach an agreement. I have every confidence in that.”

The 45-year-old’s confidence was justified Feyenoord and Liverpool have reportedly agreed on terms on an initial compensation package just over 24 hours later — a $9.6 million deal that could increase by $2.1 million with add-ons. The Reds must now agree contract terms and backroom staffing arrangements with the former AZ Alkmaar and SC Cambuur boss before an official announcement of any kind can be made by either party.

So far the most important questions about Liverpool’s chosen candidate.

Who is Arne Slot?

A midfielder during his playing days, Slot’s career remained solely within the borders of the Netherlands with over 100 appearances for both PEC Zwolle and NAC Breda before taking up a staff role with the former following his retirement. From there, the Bergentheim native moved to Cambuur as assistant manager, which eventually became a first senior management stint as part of an interim job-sharing deal with Sipke Hulshoff, which saw the team narrowly miss out on promotion to the Eredivisie, but also impressed in 2016. – 17 KNVB Cup including the elimination of defending champion AFC Ajax.

Cambuur went out to AZ after penalties, but the Kaasboeren had seen enough of Slot to make him John van den Brom’s assistant in 2017. AZ finished third and fourth in the Eredivisie the following two years before Slot took over for the 2019-2020 season. . After a fast start domestically, the team reached the round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League, but finished second to Ajax in the Dutch top flight on goal difference due to the COVID-affected end to the semester. Despite a 1-0 win over SSC Napoli in the 2020/21 UEL group stage, Slot was sacked in December 2020 after agreeing to take over as Feyenoord boss. He left AZ seventh in the Eredivisie, but with an average of 2.11 points per game – the best ratio of any head coach in the club’s history.

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What has Slot done with Feyenoord?

Indeed, Slot took over as Feyenoord boss for the 2021-2022 season and his impact at De Kuip was nothing short of seismic. In its first season, The Club On The Meuse recorded a 20-year best European performance by reaching the first ever UEFA Europa Conference League final, which they lost 1–0 to AS Roma after facing Olympique de Marseille to get there . . Feyenoord also improved from fifth in the Dutch top flight to third, with Slot being named Manager of the Year.

However, it was the 2022/23 season that really made his name as Feyenoord won its first Eredivisie title since 2017 and the 16th in the club’s history, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the Europa League – once again falling to Jose Mourinho’s Roma – and the KNVB Cup semi-final. Slot’s star was clearly on the rise by then and his contract had been extended, which didn’t stop Tottenham Hotspur from taking a look in 2023. He ultimately opted to stick with his extended contract and although unlikely he will defend the Eredivisie title ahead of PSV Eindhoven and saw his side succumb to Roma in the UEL for the third consecutive year on the continental stage knockout round play-offs, Slot was awarded the KNVB Cup earlier this month – the club’s 14th.

How does Slot put together his teams?

The move between Klopp and Slot is unlikely to be as extreme as some other transfers in the past and the Dutchman’s forward-thinking style and personal touch made him the obvious choice according to former Liverpool and Feyenoord player Dirk Kuyt the performance at Anfield: “His playing style is exactly what Liverpool supporters like to see at Anfield.” the ex-Orangeman told The Athletic. “He is also good with the media because he explains himself very clearly. Because Feyenoord has so many foreign players, he conducts his meetings in English, so there are no language problems. He knows exactly what he wants and he believes in it. It is attractive , attacking football. He likes to play aggressive defense, with high intensity, playing the game in the opponent’s half, but it is his way of playing. It is different from Klopp, but many of the principles are the same.” Even Klopp himself seems to endorse the choice: “I like the way his team plays football,” the German said earlier this week. “All the things I hear about him as a man say he’s a good guy.”

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Which players have flourished under Slot?

The obvious names who have benefited under Slot and will be familiar to Premier League fans are Luis Sinisterra, Tyrell Malacia, Marcos Senesi, Fredrik Aursnes and Orkun Kokcu. However, Kuyt believes that Slot’s value should not simply be measured by the players who have grown in value since playing for him: “What struck me about Arne was his ability to make the players believe in what he believes in,” he said. . “I spoke to some of them when I was there and they all spoke so highly of him. They love how he organizes the training and how he gets his ideas across. He is an excellent communicator and people manager. Looking at Feyenoord in recent years, you can see his signature on the team in how he wants football to be played. Everyone believed in his vision. He gets the best out of people.

“The task he took on after coming over from AZ in 2021 was not an easy one,” said Kuyt. “Some wondered if he was the right man, having not previously managed a top Dutch team, but Feyenoord finished third and reached the final of the Europa Conference League, where they narrowly lost to Jose Mourinho’s Roma. his second season he lost many key players basically had to build a new team. People doubted the new players that arrived and said he would need time to get everything right but he proved them wrong to become champions expected that. the start of the season.”

What happened to Amorim?

From the moment Klopp made his intentions clear, Liverpool zeroed in on former player The Spaniard isn’t done there yet and could still lead Die Werkself to success in the Europa League and DFB Pokal for an incredible treble, but he ruled himself out of a return to Anfield in March before the German title was even secured. It was then the turn of Sporting CP’s Ruben Amorim, who has since been linked with West Ham United, but Slot emerged as the frontrunner and will now succeed Klopp, who has been in place since 2015.

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How would Slot fit in at Liverpool?

Importantly, Slot appears to be cut from the same cloth as Klopp, which will be music to the ears of Liverpool fans, although the German will be an extremely difficult act to follow. However, Kuyt thinks that the doubters can eat their words: ‘He is ready for the next step in his career. The doubters will say: ‘But Arne Slot has never trained a foreign team’, but we know how successful Jurgen is. That turned out to be the case and he had not coached outside his home country before coming to Liverpool. You can’t compare Feyenoord with Liverpool, but Arne is used to dealing with pressure and high expectations when he has faced difficult situations, when results didn’t pan out, when faced with tough questions from the media, he stayed always kept control and stuck to his principles and the vision of how he wanted to play.

“Arne loves the game and thinks about football 24/7,” said Kuyt. “That passion comes through when he speaks. He always studies other teams and thinks about how his team can improve and evolve. Tactically he is very strong. What people in the Netherlands like most is that he has his own vision, his has style.” Is it Mourinho’s style? Nowadays managers are always compared. Is it Mourinho’s style?

Is Slot Klopp’s succession material?

Following in Klopp’s footsteps will be extremely difficult for anyone, as was the case with Sir Alex Ferguson at United and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Klopp himself played no role in choosing his own replacement, but publicly suggested Slot was a choice he could get behind – especially stylistically: “I like that a lot – good guy, good coach and I’m looking forward to the club like him is the solution,” said the German. “I’m more than satisfied, it all sounds very good. Best job in the world, best club in the world.” It will be a challenge to captivate the Anfield crowd, but Kuyt has experienced it as well as Feyenoord’s De Kuip and he believes Slot will be a success: “At Feyenoord he is loved by the fans,” he said. “They don’t want to lose him and it will be sad to see him go, but from my perspective, if he has to go somewhere, I’m glad it’s to Liverpool. He’s not only a very good manager but also a very good person.”

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