Arne Slot's Liverpool in-tray: 5 things to sort as new boss officially starts work at Anfield

(Photo by Ed van de Pol/Soccrates/Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Ed van de Pol/Soccrates/Getty Images))

Arne Slot is finally getting down to work as Liverpool boss as his contract begins at Anfield. After months of speculation and links to managerial alternatives, Slot was confirmed as Jürgen Klopp's successor at the end of the season.

His players will not link up for pre-season for another month but the Dutchman will be eager to settle into life as Liverpool boss before that, as he succeeds one of the greatest to ever do it.

Klopp revealed earlier this week that he has spoken to his successor already and insists he will be on hand to provide any advice and pointers, should Slot seek them.

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For now, Slot will likely do things his way and will work closely with incoming sporting director Richard Hughes with regards to transfers, ahead of a likely busy summer at Anfield. Here are a few issues in his in-tray on his first official day as Liverpool head coach.

Contract decisions

Liverpool has already confirmed that Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip will leave at the expiration of their contracts. But the club must now make decisions on players whose deals run out next summer.

Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold will all be free agents in 2025 and, as things stand, can talk to foreign clubs as early as January. You would not expect Liverpool to consider losing any of the trio for nothing and some big calls must be made.

Salah is likely to the subject of fresh interest from Saudi Pro League clubs with the potential of another huge bid incoming. Liverpool is planning to keep him but some offers are too good to refuse.

He will turn 32 this summer, while Van Dijk will be 33, and Liverpool must eventually start preparing for life without them. That said, if they can tie the pair down to new one-year deals, it could make sense for all parties.

Trent Alexander-Arnold position

It is going to be an interesting summer for Liverpool's vice-captain. Not only will a decision be needed on his future, he is set to be part of England's squad for Euro 2024.

Alexander-Arnold has been listed as a midfielder by Gareth Southgate and it appears his best hope of featuring in Germany will be in a more advanced role. Klopp regularly let him float into midfield but could a permanent switch be on the cards?

Conor Bradley proved he is already of Premier League standard this season and will be eager for more opportunities at full-back. Alexander-Arnold could well use the Euros to show his new boss where he would be best served next season.

Identify transfer targets

Slot has assumed the title of head coach, rather than manager, so will not have complete control over transfers. That will ultimately come down to Hughes and his team but the Dutchman will have a say.

He will likely already know where he wants to strengthen his squad with reports indicating a left-sided defender and another winger are a priority. But deciding on Liverpool's best option in holding midfield should also be high on the agenda.

Wataru Endo had a decent first season while Alexis Mac Allister also impressed when dropping deeper. But Manchester City and Arsenal have the two best in the world in that role, in Rodri and Declan Rice.

If Liverpool is to close the gap on the top two next season, it should be looking to seek an upgrade in the No.6 position — and be willing to spend big to do so.

What to do with Darwin Nunez?

It was a frustrating end to the season for Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez. He managed just one goal in the Premier League in over two months and ended the campaign out of the team.

The Uruguayan has since fueled transfer speculation amid reported interest from Barcelona and columnist Jonathan Morley believes the time has come to part ways.

Slot will likely want to take a look at him in pre-season and make his own mind up. But Liverpool will be under pressure to comply with Profit and Sustainability Rules and if Slot decides he wants a new striker, he may have to sell Nunez first.

Get fans on side

It is not going to be easy for Slot to follow in the footsteps of Klopp, who galvanized Liverpool supporters from day one. It is unclear when he will have his first press conference with pre-season not for another month.

Liverpool could well have a first in-house interview lined up to welcome Slot and that would be ideal to bring fans on side. Supporters will want to hear about his plans, why he took the job and how he can challenge for the title next season.

If they can get some insight from the new boss straightaway, it could make his first match at Anfield in August an even more special experience.