Arne Slot could be a gamble for Liverpool – but what can the fans expect?

Jurgen Klopp is nearing the end of his tenure with Liverpool, with Arne Slot expected to take over the helm at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp has done an exceptional job at the Premier League club since taking over in 2015, and he has guided them to multiple trophies including the Champions League and the Premier League. The German tactician has impressed one and all with his heavy-metal football and replacing him will be quite a challenge for Liverpool. It seems that Liverpool have chosen to appoint Arne Slot as their next manager.

The 45-year-old Dutch manager has done an impressive job with Feyenoord, and Liverpool are set to bring him in as a replacement for the charismatic German manager.

Slot helped Feyenoord win the Eredivisie title last season, and he has guided them to a domestic cup this season. Feyenoord have impressed in the UEFA Europa Conference League and the UEFA Europa League under his management as well.

However, the step up to the Premier League can be quite daunting,  and it will be interesting to see if the Dutchman can handle the transition to English football seamlessly. Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in the world, and they are expected to compete for major trophies every season.

Arne Slot will be expected to guide Liverpool to glory next term, and it remains to be seen whether he can deliver. Here at The Hard Tackle, we look at some of the main aspects of his management and what Liverpool fans can expect from their incoming managerial candidate.

Playing style

The Dutch manager has impressed with his 4-2-3-1 setup at AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord in recent years. Arne Slot prefers an attacking system quite similar to outgoing Liverpool manager Klopp and likes to press the opposition into mistakes.

However, his approach is not as aggressive as Klopp’s heavy-metal football, and the Dutchman’s teams tend to take a more reserve approach while pressing. Slot prefers defensively reliable full-backs and uses a midfield setup that protects his defensive unit.

The midfield pivot used by the Dutch manager tends to sit deep and shield the defence. They are also expected to combine with the full-backs and help out during build-ups and transition. The Dutchman relies heavily on his wingers to take on opposition players and create goalscoring opportunities from the flanks.

In addition, the 45-year-old prefers a reliable finisher leading the line for his team. While most of his attacking play goes through the wingers, the end game is to support the centre forward with ample service so that he can find the back of the net consistently. The central attacking midfielder is also expected to support the wingers in the attack and overload the area in front of the opposition defence.

Suitability with the Liverpool squad

Liverpool have an exceptional squad, and with a couple of quality additions they should be able to fight for major trophies once again. There is no doubt that the Merseyside club have the players to execute Slot’s style of football. But they will need some positional adjustments and transfers to succeed under the Dutchman.

Liverpool might need to invest in a defensively reliable full-back going forward. While Trent Alexander-Arnold is a match-winner and an exceptional footballer, his defensive output leaves a lot to desired. He can be quite vulnerable at the back, and Liverpool need a more defensively sound player in his role.

As for the midfield, Liverpool already have a quality player like Alexis Mac Allister, who can operate in the midfield pivot. The role will be similar to the one he had under Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton & Hove Albion. However he will need a mobile defensive midfielder alongside him, who can shield the back four, wriggle his way out of the press and win the ball back for his side.

Mats Wieffer has done an exceptional job in that role at Feyenoord, and Slot will have to find a quality option at Liverpool in that role. In the attack, Mohamed Salah should be a quality fit under the Dutchman, and he will look to create goalscoring opportunities and find the back of the net as well. The Egyptian is more than just a goalscorer, and his elite creativity makes him a good fit for most systems.

It will be interesting to see if Liverpool decide to persist with Luis Diaz on the left. The Colombian international is very good when it comes to taking on defenders. but his decision making in the final third and end product can be quite mediocre.

Alternatively, Liverpool could fry Darwin Nunez as the left sided winger. He has excelled in that role at times with his national team, Benfica, and Liverpool. Given his problems in front of goal, it could be a wise decision to move him into the wide areas and bring in a better striker.

Summer signing Dominik Szoboszlai started the season really well but has faded away because of his new role under Klopp. The Hungarian international has had to contribute defensively and work hard in the middle of the park. However, he has shown in the Bundesliga that he excels in a more advanced role with more attacking responsibilities. Slot could really bring out the best in the Hungarian midfielder and unleash him next season.

Man management skills

Slot comes across as a good communicator, and he should fit in well at Liverpool in that regard. Most of his former players and staff who have worked with the Dutchman seem to paint a positive outlook of Slot as a person. As a manager, the 45-year-old is not a disciplinarian either and believes in handing his players ample freedom.

Challenges that await him at Liverpool

Slot will be managing in the most competitive league in world football, and he will be up against world-class managers like Pep Guardiola. Liverpool simply do not have the resources to compete with Manchester City, and Slot will have to bridge the gap between the resources of the two clubs with his quality.

Jurgen Klopp managed to get Liverpool punching above their weight on a consistent basis, with his genius and it remains to be seen whether Slot can follow in his footsteps.The lack of tactical variations could also be a major problem for the Dutchman if his favourite 4-2-3-1 does not work out.

The 45-year-old tends to stick to a particular style of play and approach. At a big club, competing at an elite level, having multiple approaches can be rewarding. Another major challenge that the Dutchman could face at Liverpool is the handling of top class players. He has done a phenomenal job at AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord in the past but has not managed big egos in the dressing room.

Liverpool have a squad filled with top class players like Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah. Plenty of managers have struggled too deal with big personalities in the dressing room, and it remains to be seen whether Arne Slot can earn their respect.

Regardless of his reputation and quality as a manager, the appointment of the Dutchman comes across as a gamble for now, and Slot has a lot to prove in the coming months.

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