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'I played for Liverpool and am friends with Arne Slot - he's the perfect Jurgen Klopp successor'

Arne Slot watches on during a Europa League game between Feyenoord and AS Roma.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by ProShots/Icon Sport via Getty Images)


Liverpool has entered a new era. Arne Slot's first day as the new head coach at Anfield has come and gone and the Dutchman has plenty of work to get through this summer after taking over from Jurgen Klopp.

But what should Liverpool fans — and players, for that matter — expect from him? Former Reds goalkeeper Sander Westerveld is better placed than most to know.

Westerveld, who played 103 times for Liverpool in all competitions between 1999 and 2001, played with Slot at Sparta Rotterdam and they have remained friends ever since. The 49-year-old is convinced that Slot is the right appointment.

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Westerveld said, via Liverpool's official website: "The minute I heard Arne's name [linked], I was like, 'Yeah, that's actually a perfect fit'. Over the years people talk about Arne in Holland and they always compared him with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

"He always showed Liverpool clips during training sessions and analyzing games. He was showing Liverpool clips on how to play. He's playing in a similar style. It's been well-documented how he plays and what he wants in a team.

"Apart from that, he's also a genuine, nice guy. He's always in for a joke, which is really important because it gives a sort of balance in the team, in the group — focus, train hard, have a laugh when you can. Take the pressure off certain situations but never lose the focus on winning games.

"It's easy to motivate the first XI but if you talk about the players that are on the bench, 12 to 25, they're all happy with him as well in all the clubs he's trained. That's really important and says enough as well."

As it stands, Liverpool's first match under Slot will be against Real Betis in the US. The Reds are also due to play Manchester United and Arsenal in the States. Some of the first team squad will return for pre-season training in around a month with the new Premier League campaign kicking off in mid-August.

Liverpool.com says: It will be fascinating to see what changes Slot makes compared to what Klopp did tactically at Anfield. It isn't going to be completely different but there will be minor things that are altered. Pre-season will be a vital time for Slot to get his ideas across and it's not long now until that all begins.