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Arne Slot has already seen challenges managing Liverpool on his very first day

Arne Slot during a pre-Champions League training session.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by ANP via Getty Images)


What did you expect to happen on Arne Slot's first day? An in-house chat with the Dutchman about his playing style and how pleased he is to be at Liverpool, perhaps, or some pictures of him arriving at the AXA Training Centre?

An interview emerging from one player demanding a transfer exit and accusing Liverpool of valuing him too highly probably wasn't something that would have featured on the list. Sepp van den Berg, after a successful spell with Mainz in the Bundesliga, seemingly isn't too happy.

The decision over Van den Berg in the grand scheme of things is not the most important that Liverpool will make this summer that will be the big contract calls on the likes of Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, plus any potential incoming transfers — but this does tell Slot something. There's always something going on somewhere.

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Jurgen Klopp grew tired of being asked certain questions at Liverpool and there were far bigger dramas than Van den Berg wanting out to deal with during his time at Anfield — just as there will be for Slot. But there is always something to deal with and there will be plenty of press conferences once pre-season and then the campaign proper get underway. You've always going to have an opinion or an answer for the latest news and there will be plenty of that.

In contrast to the Van den Berg decision, which is a fairly minor one in the context of the summer, only two players have ever left Feyenoord for more than the $25m (£20m/€23m) that Liverpool, according to The Athletic, wants for the Dutchman. One was Orkun Kokcu and the other was Luis Sinisterra.

At Liverpool, as the Van den Berg interview shows, even a relatively minor transfer story generates big noise and could yet generate a fairly substantial transfer sum. There are always lots of moving parts to deal with when you are a club as big as Liverpool and Slot will have to find a way of managing a much larger squad than he has typically been used to.

Where at Feyenoord his side was fairly settled and didn't have the same depth or the number of superstars that Liverpool has, there will be a balancing act of a different kind required on Merseyside. How he deals with the added pressures and the change in the type of job that he is undertaking will determine his success, but there is no way to prepare Slot for that other than to throw him in and see what happens.

Of course, behind the scenes, the likes of Michael Edwards and Julian Ward will share the burden. Sporting director Richard Hughes will help Slot, the head coach, as much as he can, and many of the big decisions will lie with them. The price tag placed on the head of Van den Berg, for instance, will not have been dictated by Slot.

Regardless, though, this was the first reminder of how big the Liverpool job can be at times. On Slot's first day in the job, the in-tray was already pretty lengthy. Van den Berg has only added to that.