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Liverpool finally announce Arne Slot will replace Jurgen Klopp as head coach

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Football

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Liverpool have confirmed the appointment of Arne Slot as their new head coach, with the Dutchman signing a three-year contract at Anfield.

Slot, who had said on Friday that he would replace Jurgen Klopp, was identified as Liverpool’s preferred candidate following the German’s announcement in January that he would stand down at the end of the season.

Liverpool agreed a £7.7m compensation deal with Feyenoord in April for the 45-year-old, who was chosen by Fenway Sports Group’s new CEO of football, Michael Edwards, and the incoming sporting director, Richard Hughes. They used a statistically-driven approach including data analysis and performance assessment as well as looking into Slot’s character.

Arne Slot has been appointed Liverpool manager (PA Wire)

Slot, who took Feyenoord to the Europa Conference League final in 2022 and won only their second Eredivisie title of the 21st century in 2023, has won the Rinus Michels Award for the best coach in the Netherlands in each of the last two seasons.

Liverpool were attracted by his record of overachievement, which included taking AZ Alkmaar level on points at the top of the Dutch league when it was curtailed in the 2019-20 season as well as his record in Rotterdam, where he led Feyenoord to their first European final in 21 years.

They have taken note of how he has had to rebuild Feyenoord after sales of key players and has operated within a limited budget and in a self-sustaining model. They are conscious that some of their Premier League rivals have a capacity to spend more than them and think Slot’s reputation for developing and improving players is supported by both the data and the evidence of the naked eye.

Liverpool believe his high-energy, attacking and possession-based brand of football will offer some continuity from the Klopp years and that his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation and style of play should suit the current squad. They are also confident that Slot, who speaks excellent English, is a fine communicator.

Jurgen Klopp gives a speech endorsing Arne Slot as his successor (PA Wire)

They also feel his forward-thinking and collegiate approach will enable him to work within the new structure being built at Anfield and including Edwards and Hughes plus Julian Ward and Pedro Marques, who will take up roles with Fenway Sports Group.

Slot has attracted previous interest from the Premier League, turning down the chance to join Leeds in February 2023 and then Tottenham at the end of last season, as well as from other European clubs but had remained loyal to Feyenoord until Liverpool made their approach.

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