Liverpool pair can make big strides under Arne Slot as new era officially begins

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Arne Slot officially begins his Liverpool tenure on Saturday with many eyes already shifting to next season. Slot was confirmed as Jurgen Klopp's replacement last month but the real work starts now for the Dutchman.

He will have plenty of issues to resolve before his players return for pre-season in July. Slot is set to work closely with new sporting director Richard Hughes to identify transfer targets, and make decisions on the futures of key figures.

Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold were all instrumental in Klopp's spell in charge but are out of contract in a year's time going into the transfer window.

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Liverpool will not have plans to let the trio depart and nor will Slot as he looks forward to working with key members of the current squad. But who could kick on and reach another level under the Dutchman?

Some of our writers at have taken a look at the players they are most excited about seeing under Slot next season, as the new era begins at Anfield.

Matt Addison - Dominik Szoboszlai

There are loads of players who I'm looking forward to seeing progress under Slot this summer and beyond. The most exciting thing about the next phase at Liverpool is that there are so many who are ready to take the next step.

It will be fascinating to see what happens with Trent Alexander-Arnold at Anfield, while I'm also wondering whether or not Slot will view Alexis Mac Allister in the same way I do — as someone who can excel as a number six as long as the two number eights alongside him are at their physical peak.

But the player I'm going with here is Dominik Szoboszlai. There is still a question about the Hungarian's best position — like a lot of Liverpool players, he's good at a few but not yet world-class in one — but he has a very high ceiling, as reflected in the latest CIES Football Observatory findings.

A lot of people are automatically assuming that Slot will play a 4-2-3-1 system with a double pivot but the make-up of the Reds squad is much better suited to having two number eights rather than one number 10. Szoboszlai's best role, as far as I can see, is on either side of that midfield trio, perhaps to the left if Harvey Elliott — another who I'm really excited about — can nail down a starting spot.

Liverpool saw for a few months why Jorg Schmadtke was prepared to pay Szoboszlai's $76m (£61m/€70m) release clause last summer but then it tailed off. Part of that was injury, though. If he can stay healthy and Slot can work out where to deploy him, the 23-year-old could make a big impact again.

A lot more people would be saying that had his first and second halves of the season been swapped around and the good bit was a bit more recent. As a package of attributes, he has pretty much everything Liverpool would want.

Liam Prenderville - Jarell Quansah

It is going to be a big summer for a lot of Liverpool players but I think it could prove pivotal in Jarell Quansah's development. Some Liverpool fans hadn't even head of him this time last year but he ended the campaign as first-choice partner to Virgil van Dijk

Quansah was able to capitalize on Joel Matip's injury to establish himself in the Liverpool squad and showed maturity beyond his years. Jurgen Klopp clearly trusted him too with the 21-year-old clearly ahead of Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez in the German's thinking.

It will be interesting to see just what Slot makes of him. There are suggestions he will look to bring in a left-sided defender, with Van Dijk playing that position throughout his Liverpool career.

It could be that Slot wants to add a more versatile option, who can play centrally or at full-back, or rather he is planning for when Van Dijk decides to call it a day. Because the last thing he should do is halt Quansah's progress.

He is only going to improve after one season in the Premier League and had visibly grown in stature by the end of the campaign. Quansah may not make England's final Euro 2024 squad but his future is very bright and he could reach new levels under Slot.