Arne Slot could unlock $43m talent as Liverpool told why new head coach ticks big UEFA box

Arne Slot is going to take over from Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool.
Arne Slot is going to take over from Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool. -Credit:Photo by Marcel ter Bals/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Arne Slot is set to become Liverpool's 22nd full-time manager (though, technically, he is likely to be installed as a head coach) with the Feyenoord boss expected to be the man brought in to replace Jürgen Klopp.

A deal has been agreed between Liverpool and Feyenoord for the coach's services and while it has not been made official yet, the expectation is that Slot will arrive in the summer. But what can the Reds expect?

Michael Edwards, FSG's CEO of football, led the search for Klopp's successor and helped identify Slot for his playing style and similarity to how Liverpool currently plays. His high-energy football and ability to improve players ticked two big boxes.

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"Slot is charismatic, but not as noisy and outspoken as Klopp," Football Oranje's Michael Statham tells "He is a deep thinker about how his team plays and positions themselves on the pitch. His playing style is aggressive attacking play, with 4-3-3 used without fail at Feyenoord and AZ Alkmaar."

That assessment of his formation varies slightly from the perceived wisdom in many places that Slot plays with a 4-2-3-1. While there is a slight variation between the two, it is clear that his tactics will be applicable to the Liverpool squad without major surgery.

There are question marks about how easily Slot will adapt to being in charge of a club as big as Liverpool, but that would have been the case with any candidate. Xabi Alonso has played at that level but never coached there, having only been at Bayer Leverkusen for a little over a year. Rúben Amorim has done it in Portugal but not elsewhere.

"Absolutely there are doubts — he has only ever played and managed in the Netherlands," Statham continued. "However, Slot has arguably been the best head coach in the Eredivisie for the past three to four years.

"He has shown himself well when Feyenoord played in Europe — reinventing teams every season that have played in the Conference League (reaching the final). They battled well in the Europa League, and gave a good account of themselves in the Champions League. Slot was unbeaten at home in European competitions in his whole tenure at Feyenoord until they lost to Atlético Madrid this season."

Liverpool will be heading back into the Champions League next year barring a complete capitulation in its final three matches, with the expanded format offering more games and a different challenge to get used to. But the Reds will have a squad talented and deep enough to be able to cope as well as most elite sides around the continent.

Among them will be a trio of Netherlands internationals, including $43m (£34m/€40m) Ryan Gravenberch, whom Slot will be able to work with, and there is the possibility to further strengthen in the summer market when a center-back and another attacker should be on the agenda. "I'm sure Slot would enjoy working with his Dutch connections," Statham said.

"Virgil van Dijk is the type of defender he enjoys playing at the heart of his Feyenoord defense — strong and dominant. Cody Gakpo gives Slot lots of options up top, and Gravenberch is still full of potential that Slot likes to unlock in midfielders."