HomeSportsArne Slot: Feyenoord boss at forefront of Liverpools search for Jurgen Klopp...

Arne Slot: Feyenoord boss at forefront of Liverpools search for Jurgen Klopp successor

Date:

Related stories

spot_imgspot_img

“He made Feyenoord champions playing crazy, sexy football.”

The description of Liverpool target Arne Slot by Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan is immediately attention-grabbing.

Much like Slot’s football.

“Slot has not only been a successful manager, he’s also been hugely impressive with his playing style of very attack-minded, Pep Guardiola-style football,” says Van der Kraan of Slot, who has led Feyenoord to the Dutch title and Dutch cup in back-to-back campaigns.

“He’s been a successful coach and made Feyenoord champions playing crazy, sexy football. It is sexy what this man brings on a football pitch. There’s nothing more to win for him here. The next step for him is to enter a club in a big league and no league is bigger for the Dutch than the Premier League. I will be surprised if Slot doesn’t bite at this chance and become the manager of Liverpool next season.”

If Liverpool supporters like the sound of that, they’ll also be encouraged by the potential crossover areas for 45-year-old Slot, in terms of the environment he was in at Feyenoord and how he handled the media. If he is appointed at Anfield, he’ll be developing the team on the pitch and disarming critics off it.

“Slot is a guy who has got a consistent record of success and playing attacking football over several years,” says European football expert Andy Brassell on Sky Sports News.

“That idea of redeveloping teams and working with younger players as well is something that really appeals to Liverpool.

“The way he wants to attack would really appeal to Liverpool fans, too. He always wants his teams to find a way to put pressure on the opposition, to press, to score goals, and they do that in Europe as well.

“No one is quite like Jurgen Klopp in front of the media, but Slot is no shrinking violet at all. We’ve seen this when his side have played Roma and he’s come up against Jose Mourinho. He’s not afraid to upset and won’t back down.

“Premier League clubs have known he would fit in well for quite a while. The Premier League has moved more towards possession and front-foot football, so it’s probably the right time for Slot. Of course, there’s a gap in quality compared to the Eredivisie, but he’ll have better players at his disposal in the Premier League.”

If Premier League clubs have known about Slot for some time then there’s no doubt Slot has had ambitions of switching to England.

Last summer, Slot was one of the leading contenders for the then-vacant Tottenham manager’s role and Sky Sports News reporter Gary Cotterill went to Rotterdam to cover the story.

Cotterill found Slot to be “engaging, polite, very smiley, he’s got presence and charisma – and he’s funny” when writing about his trip to get the lowdown on the Feyenoord boss, who has been open about his desire to manage in the Premier League.

“My next step will not be a club in Holland,” he said in May 2023.

“If that is my next step, then I’ve failed completely. The normal next step will be to go abroad and I’ve always said the best league in the world is the Premier League.”

Fine work at Feyenoord

Slot took over from Dick Advocaat at Feyenoord for the start of the 21/22 season with the club having finished fifth the previous campaign. Just two years later, they were champions of the Eredivisie. He built a pressing team playing intense, attack-minded football while also being able to win.

Slot, who secured the KNVB Cup last weekend and led Feyenoord to their first title in six years last season, appeals to Liverpool due to his aggressive, full-throttle style.

He has drilled his team to be adept at turning defensive actions into shooting opportunities and they top the Eredivisie for tackles won in the opposition’s final third.

Slot has proved capable of improving individuals as well as the collective, while operating on a smaller budget than his core competitors, and his penchant for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation fits Liverpool’s squad.

Feyenoord are second behind PSV Eindhoven this season, nine points adrift with four games to play – but still able to match their points tally from their title-winning 22/23 season. They’ve been beaten just twice.

In Europe, they finished third in their Champions League group before dropping into the Europa League where they were knocked out by Roma on penalties in February.

What happened with Tottenham’s approach for Slot?

Spurs were determined to get Slot last summer after he secured the Eredivisie title with Feyenoord.

However, Slot ruled himself out of the running to take over in north London before signing a new contract at Feyenoord a few days later which runs until 2026.

“I’m not done here yet,” Slot said after the announcement of his new deal.

The potential deal with Spurs never got to any formal stage of discussions with him or Feyenoord and Spurs’ bosses felt that Slot used their interest in him to get an improved contract in the Netherlands.

Ange Postecoglou was eventually appointed by Spurs from Celtic.

Ad content | Stream Sky Sports on NOW

Stream Sky Sports live with no contract on a Month or Day membership on NOW. Instant access to live action from the Premier League and EFL, plus darts, cricket, tennis, golf and so much more.

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories

spot_img