Liverpool give clearest indication yet of summer transfer plan with announcements imminent

-Credit: (Image: Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Arne Slot has conducted his first press conference since taking over as Liverpool head coach.

Sitting alongside new sporting director Richard Hughes at the AXA Training Centre, they both worked their way through a plethora of questions as the gathered journalists and supporters got to see the pair in action for the first time.

The ECHO were in place at the Reds’ training ground to bring you every word from the Dutchman. But as the dust settles on his first media briefing, what have we learned from Slot and Hughes?

READ MORE: Richard Hughes predicts transfer 'hurry' as Liverpool take 'opportunistic' approach

READ MORE: Richard Hughes opens up on private FSG and Michael Edwards Liverpool talks

Playing with freedom

Slot dismissed the notion that he favoured a 4-2-3-1 system with Feyenoord, insisting he would have called it a 4-3-3 formation. But rather than focus on a favoured set-up, he instead repeatedly spoke about his favoured playing style - which was admittedly decisive in the Dutchman getting the Liverpool job in the first place.

Stressing the need for his side to play with freedom on the ball, and aggression without it, but Slot and Hughes admitted the similarities between the Dutchman’s favoured style and Klopp’s.

While not identical, Slot admitted he would not have taken the job if Liverpool had not appreciated his style. Meanwhile, Hughes offered insight on how the Reds made the decision to move for the former Feyenoord boss, revealing how he ranked highly on all their metrics - including that same but different playing style.

Meanwhile, both also about how attractive they find such a style, and want Liverpool to continue playing in a way supporters can enjoy.

Transfer hint

Liverpool will dip their toes into the transfer market this summer, make no mistake about that. But it has been a quiet start to the window. Understandably so, considering the raft of changes at Anfield, along with both Euro 2024 and the Copa America currently ongoing.

Both Slot and Hughes were full of praise for the strength of their inherited squad, and want to work with it closely before making major transfer decisions. But there is a desire to improve, with the Dutchman also grateful that he isn’t expecting to lose many star players.

Meanwhile, Hughes admitted that looking at the transfer window as a whole, he expects a quiet July but busy August across Europe. Such a stance ties in with the new management wanting to work in person with the inherited squad first.

Be patient, but strap yourselves in. Transfers are coming!

Kids are alright

Klopp’s long-term Liverpool legacy will arguably be the Reds’ academy and the success the club have continued to have in promoting youngsters into the first team. Expect that to continue.

Slot was full of praise for the Reds’ academy stars, insisting talent is more important than age. AKA, if they’re good enough, they’re old enough.

If the production line continues in the same vein as it has done throughout Klopp’s reign, the opportunities will continue to flow for the next generation.

Two more coaches

Only three members of Slot’s backroom staff have been confirmed so far, leaving a team that is rather smaller than under Klopp, considering over half-a-dozen staff members departed alongside the German.

Well further appointments are coming at Anfield, with Slot revealing Liverpool are working on a further two coaching appointments. Promising announcements soon, watch this space.

Stay away, Virg!

Slot won’t meet Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo or Ryan Gravenberch until next month if he has his way.

The Dutchman unsurprisingly wants the Netherlands to win Euro 2024, and is cheering on the trio from afar, hoping Gakpo can continue his scoring form throughout the knockout stages

Eyeing up a potential semi-final clash with England, such international excursions will delay their return for pre-season until August now. But that’s a small sacrifice for Slot, if Netherlands finish the summer as European champions.

Unintentional Tottenham dig?

When Slot spoke about choosing to join Liverpool, he stressed how one of the attractive factors was the knowledge he was joining a club with a strong squad who are capable of winning trophies.

He spoke about winning things more than once. Innocent enough and to be expected, especially given the Reds’ trophy-laden years under Klopp.

But when you consider he rejected Tottenham Hotspur last summer, who haven’t won a trophy since 2008 and have lifted just one piece of silverware since 1999, it is amusing if you’re feeling mischievous!