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Arne Slot has two priorities above all else that Liverpool needs to sort out this summer

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot gives a press conference on the eve of their UEFA Champions League football match against Club Atletico de Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on October 3, 2023.
-Credit: (Image: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)


Liverpool has named Arne Slot as 'head coach' rather than manager. But even with this break from tradition, the new man still has more than enough on his plate.

Though Slot will not call the shots on matters like transfers and contracts (FSG's head of football Michael Edwards has put together a crack team), he will undoubtedly have a say, and will need to get up to speed with goings-on in those departments. As for his primary role, coaching and improving players on the pitch, that will certainly keep him plenty busy enough.

Amid all the things to do, a couple of priorities stand out. Faced with the daunting task of replacing Jürgen Klopp, he can give himself the best chance of hitting the ground running by laying the right early groundwork.

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So what's first on the agenda for Slot? Two of our Liverpool.com writers have had their say, and you can add yours in the comments section below the article.

"Arne Slot needs the contract situation sorted" - Matt Addison

Above all else, Liverpool needs to sort out the three contracts that are expiring next summer. Would I be happy if Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold all extended but the Reds didn't bring in any new faces? No, but that's not a bad place from which to start for Arne Slot.

Even more important than adding more bodies to an already pretty well-stocked squad is keeping the key components who are already here. Salah was Liverpool's top scorer last season, Van Dijk is arguably still the best center-back in the world, and Alexander-Arnold is a future Reds captain whose best years could still be ahead of him.

Slot arrives at Liverpool with a squad that is ready to get to the next level but not everything can be about the stars who represent the long-term future. He will also need experience and Salah and Van Dijk's wealth of it vastly outweighs concerns about whether their next two years will be as good as the last two.

If Liverpool can get its three big contracts sorted this summer, that will avoid speculation mounting and the beginning of the new season under Slot being full of rumors about whether Real Madrid might come in for whoever hasn't extended. Ruling out any distractions like that will be vital.

"Slot must heed Jürgen Klopp's advice" - James Martin

Appointing Slot marks a new chapter for Liverpool. It would be unfair to make him commence it under the shadow of Jürgen Klopp. The pressure of the job would be bad enough without constant comparisons.

Perhaps with that in mind, Klopp was mindful to keep questions about succession at arms' length in his final months at Liverpool. But having been given one piece of advice, Slot would do well to start his reign by heeding it.

Klopp told whoever came after him not to forget the youngsters. For Slot, who will have been able to familiarize himself with the strengths of the first team from afar, a vital early task is assessing the quality of the talent that is coming through the ranks.

A host of loan players will be returning to the club, and the coach will need to decide which, if any, are ready to challenge for a place in the squad. Who can step up to be the next Jarell Quansah or Conor Bradley? Liverpool has an elite academy and a model which relies upon utilizing it, so getting to grips with it quickly must be high up Slot's to-do list.