Premier League: Who is Arne Slot, Jurgen Klopp’s likely successor at Liverpool ?

In the 2021-22 season, Slot rocked up at Feyenoord. AZ Alkmaar, to a sleeping giant of Dutch football, helping it clinch the Eredivisie the following year, their first piece of silverware since 2017.

With the departure of Klopp being a but confirmed, the Merseyside club have singled out the current Dutchman who is doing a more than steady job at Feyenoord as the successor to their legendary manager. He has left behind his Imprints not only in terms of tactics but also his presence and the ethos, the culture the smiling spectacled man had drilled into the Reds.

Arne Slot
Arne Slot (Credit - Sky Sports)

The 45-year-old is currently in the hotseat at Dutch Eredivisie club Feyenoord, where he sits at second spot in the league and has only lost a couple of matches this season.

A brief playing history of Arne Slot

Arne Slot: the rise of Liverpool's incoming manager – 'He's as honest as  possible' - The Athletic
Arne Slot (Credit - The New York Times)

Arend Martijn “Arne” Slot was born on September 17, 1978 in the small village of Bergentheim in the Netherlands.

As a player he most turned bounced around within the top two divisions of Dutch football and managed to amass an impressive approximately 100 goals during his entire career in about 500 games. From midfield it was a pretty decent return but could also do a job deeper in midfield especially during his later years when he didn't have the legs to do so. But he had the football IQ to adapt his game to the demands of the time. He was still a player of some pedigree in his won right as he did indeed feature against Newcastle United for NAC Breda in Europe. Eventually he decided that at the ripe age of 35 , it was the right to walk away from the field and hang up his boots owing to the fact that physically his body was not able to cope up with the demands of being a professional anymore. However, his passing, vision and reading of the game remained intact and were the key factors that carried him during his latter Stages and have  also been of huge help in managerial career so far.

Slot tries his luck at coaching

According to an account given by former teammate Bram van Polen, Slot is said to have displayed coaching qualities during his tail end of his career  years as a player, which prompted PEC Zwolle to offer him to the chance to develop their next crop of youth.

Arne Slot admits he wants to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and is  confident deal will happen | talkSPORT
Arne Slot (Credit -

A year later, he became the second in command to Henk de Jong at Cambuur, continuing in that role under the next few managers. In 2016, when Cambuur ended up getting the drop, Slot was made the interim co-coach alongside Sipke Hulshoff,  and repayed their faith by leading them to a third-place finish and a historic KNVB Cup semifinal run, knocking out European Giants like Ajax in their Cup run.

Arne Slot: Feyenoord concerned they will lose manager to Tottenham this  summer | Football News | Sky Sports
Arne Slot (Credit - Sky Sports)

Even though he could have very easily stepped into being a full time boss and secured his first gig as a full time manager, he decided that it wasn't the right time and he still had a lot to learn before taking the leap. Thus, he decided to move onto AZ Alkmaarand decided to continue his managerial education by learning from experienced manager John van den Brom. He took charge as the  manager of AZ in December 2018. In his first full season, heaven Erik ten Hag’s Ajax z run for their money by challenging the then CL Semi Finalists for the title, which was ultimately curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Slot’s time as the commander in chief at AZ saw him secure the highest points-per-game average of any manager in the club’s history. However, a shock exit in December 2020 left many scratching their heads initially but very soon it was all  very clear. Slot was in negotiations with arch-rivals Feyenoord, while still at the driving seat for AZ.

The sleeping giant Feyenoord gradually awoken by Slot

Incoming Liverpool boss Arne Slot snubbed Tottenham, hates defending and  has a PASS named after him | The Irish Sun
Arne Slot (Credit -

In the 21-22 season, Slot arrived at Feyenoord in a controversial fashion but the way in which he arrived had no bearing on the fresh new exciting ideas he brought to the club. He made them play an expansive expressive brand of attacking football all the while ensuring the maintained defensive solidity at the same time and did expose themselves to defensive lapses.

In his first season in charge, his team finished third but managed to reach just one step away from European Silverware - The Europa Conference League final, their first European final in over two decades which was indeed all the more special considering they had flattered to deceive during recent seasons before Arnie had arrived.

In the subsequent season, the managerial wonderkid (relatively) at the age of 44, Slot got Feyenoord to its first Eredivisie title since 2017 and only its second since 1999. Feyenoord also reached the Europa League quarterfinal which was a clear example of the team getting better under him both domestically and on the continental stage .

Feyenoord wasn't able to perform very well before and with Slot making this team play to their limits and pushing then with each passing season, he quickly caught the eye of global powerhouses. He took notice of the world he had dun for the Dutch side and began seriously considering him for their hot seat. 

Why is Liverpool think Slot is a match made in heaven ?

Liverpool bevestigt: Arne Slot volgt legende Klopp op | De Morgen
Arne Slot (Credit - Sky Sports)

Results are not the only think that convinced the higher ups at the Reds to zero in on Slot, they see his football Philosophy as a direct like for replacement for Jurgen Klopp and believe that his arrival will lead to a seamless transition  to the post-Klopp era.

Slot’s teams are at ease while on the ball and are high octane at all times whether it's with and without the ball. They tend to overload areas to thwart their opponents in pockets of spaces, with full-backs pushing into central midfield to provide numerical advantage and wingers taking on defenders. It resulted in higher chance creation as they have the defensive solidity to cover in case of any turnover leading to counter attacks.

They operate with a high defensive line, squeezing space and forcing turnovers. Their aim is to win the ball high and transition quickly and hit them on the counter using pace and movement to exploit openings. If this wasn't  an article about Slot, the above description of tactics would have made everyone almost immediately attribute it to something that Klopp does with his teams.

Feyenoord’s Dutch head coach Arne Slot celebrates Feyenoord’s victory in the Dutch KNVB Cup Final match between Feyenoord and NEC Nijmegen at Feyenoord Stadium de Kuip in Rotterdam
Arne Slot (Credit-Feyenoord Official)

He tends to favour multi purpose wingers who can reach the by line but also cut inside to shoot. Slot tend to avoid foing the wide crossing route, preferring to limit the flanks to a single player and tries to engineer chances through various other means.

Slot’s arrival at Anfield could  finally be the one to oversee the transition of Trent Alexander-Arnold to  finally play as a full-time midfielder.

Slot is known for developing young talent which bodes well for him as Liverpool also believe in the same ideology and strives to foster an environment to do so. At both AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord, he was closely involved with recruitment teams to identify promising players and bargain buys whom he proceeded to turn Into world beaters, some becoming key figured at respective clubs while other being sold on for massive profits  making them not only better on the pitch, but also self sustainable. 

Replacing Klopp the tactician is not merely enough, Replacement of  Klopp the person also has to be a maverick like him and should be able to think out of the box with his man-management skills. Slot’s methods can be unorthodox; at Feyenoord, full-back Marcus Pedersen was advised to enroll in a kickboxing gym to boost his confidence and aggression and such innovative methods are what separates the good from the greats.

Dutch managers in the Premier League have been a mixed bag. While Van Gaal and Hiddink have been pretty decent during their stay as managers in England. The likes of Frank De Boer were out of the door in the blink of an eye even though he did wonders with Ajax and Liverpool would hope he is more of a hit than miss.

Liverpool will hope that Slot can be the man with whom they can hit the Jackpot just like they did when Kloop took over Liverpool after leaving Dortmund all those years back 

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