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Arne Slot 'head-hunts' ex-Man City coach who Arsenal wanted to replace Liverpool 'link man'

Arne Slot Head Coach of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on July 07, 2024 in Kirkby, England.
-Credit: (Image: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)


Liverpool has had Arne Slot in place for some time, but there were plenty more vacancies to fill this summer. The departure of Jurgen Klopp prompted something of an exodus, but the next piece of the puzzle has been found.

Naturally, Slot has brought certain staff members with him from Feyenoord. Sipke Hulshoff will once again act as the Dutchman's assistant, while Ruben Peeters is on board as head of performance.

But Liverpool has also looked elsewhere, even advertising positions on LinkedIn. The latest hire boasts a resume featuring Manchester City, and was pursued by Arsenal when Mikel Arteta first jumped ship.

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According to the Daily Mail, the arrival of Aaron Briggs is completed. He is expected to fill the role previously occupied by Vitor Matos, who has followed Pep Lijnders to Red Bull Salzburg.

Briggs is not a household name, but nor was Matos. Yet the Portuguese coach was considered an essential "link man" (Klopp's words) in the Liverpool operation, providing a bridge between the Academy and the first team.

Naturally, Klopp can claim a lot of the credit for the opportunities handed to young players across his tenure. But it's a joint victory with Matos, and we've said for months that finding his replacement will be among the most important tasks of the summer.

In Briggs, Liverpool appears to have pulled off something of a coup. He spent nine years as an analyst and coach for Manchester City.

Assistant coach Aaron Briggs of VfL Wolfsburg poses during the team presentation at Wolfsburg's training ground on September 20, 2023 in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Aaron Briggs has spent time at Wolfsburg and Monaco since leaving Manchester City. -Credit:Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images

During that tenure, he was approached by Arsenal. As David Ornstein reported at the time, attempts by Arteta to take Briggs with him left Manchester City "unimpressed", and an agreement was never reached. However, he ended up leaving the Etihad the following summer, joining Monaco. After that, he had a stint as assistant manager at Wolfsburg.

Still just 37, Briggs was "head-hunted" by the Liverpool recruitment team. That operation no doubt involved Slot, as well as new sporting director Richard Hughes — while Michael Edwards is back in the FSG fold as CEO of Football.

Following the arrival of Briggs, it's thought that Liverpool only needs to appoint a first-team coach and a set piece specialist. Slot's compatriot and former Everton defender Johnny Heitinga is one of the names in contention for the former role.

Liverpool.com says: Briggs is clearly respected within the game. It shows how much importance Liverpool places on Matos' role that they have sought out such an experienced operator to fill the position.

Though there is a new regime at Anfield, it will remain vital to maintain a pathway to the first team for young players. Having worked with age-group sides for much of his Manchester City tenure, hopefully Briggs is the man for the job.