Inside Arne Slot's pre-season as Liverpool players set to return to training at start of new era

Arne Slot during his Liverpool unveiling.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool players will soon reconvene for pre-season as Arne Slot aims to get his ideas across quickly. But this is a disrupted period in terms of the stars who he will be able to work with at various points across the summer.

Alisson Becker (Brazil), Luis Diaz (Colombia), Alexis Mac Allister (Argentina) and Darwin Nunez (Uruguay) are all currently away at the Copa America, while there are seven players — including Cody Gakpo and Trent Alexander-Arnold still involved at the European Championship in Germany. The final of both major tournaments is on the same day: July 14.

Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones are among those who will have the longest with Slot as they aim to tie down their places in the starting XI. There are only 45 days to go until Liverpool takes on Ipswich Town in its Premier League opener and the first stars will begin to come back to the AXA Training Centre later this week.

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The first task will be fitness-related, getting the players back up to full speed after their time off. A mixture of endurance, strength and mobility exercises will be undertaken across the course of the next few weeks.

The trickiest balance will be getting everyone at their peak when the new season kicks off, whether they have been at a major tournament or had a summer break. Those that will come back later might not be as refreshed but they won't have lost as much match sharpness.

New lead physical performance coach Ruben Peeters will be heavily involved while there are still more backroom appointments to be made. Feyenoord had a very good injury record and that will be something that Liverpool will hope to inherit. Slot's style is as intense as Jurgen Klopp's but perhaps some tweaks can be made to keep players fit for longer, with that being a major Achilles heel in recent campaigns.

Arne Slot will meet some of his Liverpool squad for the first time this week
Arne Slot will meet some of his Liverpool squad for the first time this week -Credit:Getty Images

At his previous club, Slot's players were available for 90 per cent of the minutes, The Athletic has reported, with that being a key attribute that made him the favorite for the Liverpool role. Thousands of data points were used in the Netherlands to track potential medical problems and Peeters' work with DNA testing — analyzing things like sweat and urine can help with injury reduction too. Having said that, the Premier League is more intense and there will be two extra Champions League fixtures to play too.

Sipke Hulshoff will be Slot's assistant tasked with helping him get the tactical messages across. Again, there will be similarities to Klopp's style so it should not be a complete change, but there will be nuances that can be worked on over the next few weeks. By the first friendly game, we should know, for instance, how Slot intends to set up in midfield.

Liverpool has four friendlies lined up:

  • Real Betis (Pittsburgh, 26 July in the US - early hours of the following morning in the UK)

  • Arsenal (Philadelphia, 31 July in the US - early hours of the following morning in the UK)

  • Man Utd (South Carolina, 3 August in the US - early hours of the following morning in the UK)

  • Sevilla (Anfield, August 11)

The clock is ticking until the first of those matches takes place, with big decisions to be made in the meantime. Mohamed Salah is among those with whom contract talks need to take place while at least a couple of transfers will be required to supplement the squad that Slot takes over. Center-back should be a priority.

Then there are decisions to be made on the likes of Tyler Morton, who has attracted permanent interest from RB Leipzig and plenty of other teams around Europe, and Ben Doak and Kaide Gordon, who whom there would be plenty of suitors for loan arrangements. How the pecking order stands for players like Jarell Quansah and Conor Bradley, who made breakthroughs last year, also remains to be seen with the change of coach.

For those who are still away on international duty, there are other things to focus on in the meantime. For Slot and the first group of players who return to Kirkby, though, it's almost time to go all out as preparations for the new campaign begin.