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What to expect from Arne Slot's first day as new Liverpool boss has futures to resolve

Arne Slot has left Feyenoord to become the new head coach at Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: ProShots/Icon Sport via Getty Images)


The king is dead, long live the king. With Jurgen Klopp having said his final farewells to Liverpool, the time has come for Arne Slot to take his place on the throne.

There might be a different title - the Dutchman will be head coach compared to Klopp's role as manager - but the position, and expectation, remains exactly the same.

Of course, there won't be an all-singing and all-dancing unveiling of the new man when he officially starts his job today. That will come in due course. Slot has already been on Merseyside this week but isn't expected to begin properly beavering away at the AXA Training Centre until nearer the start of pre-season during the first week of July.

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While the first words from the new boss could emerge, it'll only be when probed for the first time by the curious media pack that supporters will gain a true sense of what they can expect from Slot in the weeks and months to come.

Nobody, though, believes the 45-year-old has been resting on his laurels since it first emerged he had been identified as Klopp's successor more than a month ago.

Slot himself has admitted to starting to watch Liverpool games, and will have spent any free time while preparing his move to England sitting down and viewing his new charges. The knowledge fans have gained over several years watching their team will have to be crammed into a matter of weeks.

Given it might not be until late July that Slot is able to work with his full squad due to players needing a break after featuring in either the European Championships or Copa America, that leaves barely a month for him to properly assess the squad before the transfer deadline on August 30.

Slot will, however, already have his own thoughts on the direction in which he wants to take his playing personnel and which areas need strengthening. While his tactical approach is not dissimilar to that of Klopp, it won't be identical. And his individualistic requirements, and the understandable desire to leave an early calling card, means he will want some strengthening of his own choice.

But not every call will be his. And how Liverpool's squad react to Slot will perhaps be just as instructive as what the head coach makes of the playing staff he has inherited.

While the more immediate concern will be the three players who are now entering the final 12 months of their current contracts at Anfield, it would appear all are already on board. Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold recently made reassuring comments on trusting the decisions of owners Fenway Sports Group and being confident the transition will be smooth, while Mohamed Salah has hinted heavily he will still be at Liverpool next season.

Instead, the greater intrigue will come from others who have prospered under Klopp and may decide the time has naturally come for pastures new. Ibrahima Konate, for example, has emerged as a target for Paris Saint-Germain, who are also one of several clubs to be linked for some time with potential interest in Luis Diaz. Barcelona are considered front-runners for the Colombian winger should a deal be in the offing.

The situation with others isn't quite the same, with Caoimhin Kelleher for example suggesting this week it could be time to leave Anfield to become a number one goalkeeper. And then there are players who have been out on loan such as Sepp van den Berg, Fabio Carvalho, Tyler Morton and Vitezslav Jaros. Slot will lean heavily on reports from those already within the Anfield corridors of power.

With Liverpool having surprised maybe even themselves by running Manchester City and Arsenal close in the Premier League title race for as long as they did, the squad has solid foundations not only for next season but, with a strong group of youngsters having emerged, future years also.

Slot, then, will want to call on as many of this campaign's Liverpool players as possible while adding a sprinkling of his own. He will already have reached out to key figures within the squad and mapped out his vision. But the real work starts now. Welcome to Anfield, Arne.