Salah transfer, Van Dijk contract - Arne Slot told Liverpool priority on first day in new role

Arne Slot during the Dutch Eredivisie  match between Feyenoord v Excelsior
-Credit: (Image: Jeroen van den Berg/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Arne Slot is officially Liverpool head coach with his role formally starting on Saturday (June 1). He has a big act to follow with the Dutchman the replacement for Jurgen Klopp who took charge of his final game just a few weeks ago.

While his role has not officially started until today work would have been going on behind the scenes with preparations for the new 2024/25 season well underway. Liverpool will be hoping to again challenge at the top of the Premier League.

Coming into a new job means that head coaches will have an extensive to-do list. That will be no different for Slot and Liverpool.

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The new head coach will need to assess his squad as well as look to see what moves the club can make in the transfer window. There has been talk over what business the Reds may do in the next couple of month.

So what should be the first job that Slot works on? The Echo writers have their say.

Amie Wilson

For any new manager I think the first thing that should be on their list is to do somewhat of an audit of their squad, and making decisions on who may be available for sale during the transfer window. There’s players who currently have an uncertain future at Anfield, but Slot sees them as someone who could be a key player in the coming season.

Players such as Fabio Carvalho who will return from a loan spell with Championship side Hull City will have to have a decision made on his future. Will he be sold, go out on loan again or be part of Slot’s first team squad?

Once the decisions over the fringe players have been made, then Liverpool can think about who they may need to bring in during the transfer window. That will be the next step on the to-do list.

Mark Wakefield

Arne Slot will have several items on his to-do list when he officially starts as Liverpool’s new head coach. He will still have more than two months until his first competitive fixture, but a lot of work will need to be done between now and August.

Several tasks will need to be completed this summer, with transfers likely to be the topic of debate. Arguably the most important item on Slot’s agenda will be to sort out the contracts that are up for expiry in 12 months.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah are all out of contract in 2025. Liverpool and Slot would be wise to have each of the trio’s futures all wrapped up going into the season, in order to avoid any unwanted media attention or speculation about potential exits.

If all three players can have their long-term futures committed to Liverpool heading into the season that would help Slot make his first season at Anfield much easier. If there’s any speculation, however, that would only provide unwanted distractions to the new era on Merseyside.

Tom Coley

Despite all of Slot's success in Holland, perhaps the first thing he must do is win over the players and fans. This is such an important time for Liverpool as they transition away from Klopp and the power he held that Slot must try and make his integration and presence feel as seamless as possible.

The Dutchman will also have to assert himself though and really take control of the areas he is given a say in. It will be a tough balance to strike for the coach but one he must get right immediately in order to start his reign off well.

Outside of that there will definitely have to be a wide-ranging assessment of the squad. Klopp knew most of the players so well but Slot will come in with a fresh view and different plans. How he sees the contract and transfer situation of key players will also be important.

To put it bluntly, there's a lot for Slot to do but when it comes to recruitment he may not actually wield as much power as his predecessor did. It won't be his deciding vote on whether Salah is sold or Van Dijk is offered a new deal, he will be just one of the key figures making that decision. Slot just needs to get his head down and straight into work. If he is out of the news this summer it will be a good way to head into the season.

Bruna Reis

One of the main tasks Arne Slot faces is assessing the current squad and making decisions over some players’ futures. It will be important to comply with Profitability and Sustainability Rules which could see the Dutchman make tough decisions.

One player that fans will be curious about is Mohamed Salah, whose contract will expire in the summer of 2025. Leader Virgil van Dijk’s future will also need to be discussed to avoid any distractions during the campaign.

While Slot may not have full control over transfers, he will be one of the key figures making the decisions over the future of players who are expected to come back from their respective loan spells. Conversations will also be held over new reinforcements but it is equally important for him to spend time with the players and get to know them which will facilitate a smooth transition.

Once that is done, it will be crucial he gets his head down as soon as possible to prepare for a challenging season.

Keifer MacDonald

Sure, Arne Slot officially starts his role as Liverpool manager on Saturday but it won't be until the start of July that he is well and truly able to get his teeth stuck into the role.

The Dutchman's first weeks at the AXA Training Centre will be spent with few around him, as Liverpool's players are not due to report back to Kirkby for pre-season training until early July.

In the meantime, though, Slot can start to review some of the overlooked members of the Reds' squad, who spent the 2023/24 season away from Anfield but will be hoping to impress the Dutchman this summer.

Players such as Tyler Morton, Fabio Carvalho, Luke Chambers, Owen Beck, Sepp Van den Berg and Vitezslav Jaros may have been out of sight in the 2023/24 season but certainly weren't out of mind as they enjoyed impressive loan stints around the continent.

For Slot, one of his first jobs will be to familiarise himself with some of those players before they audition for a place in the Reds' squad for the 24/25 season next month.