Arne Slot will cost Liverpool $62 million, but Michael Edwards needs to avoid making the same mistake as Jürgen Klopp.


Arne Slot is being pursued by Liverpool, and this is a logical appointment. Michael Edwards needs to be careful not to fall into a Jürgen Klopp trap, though.

It appears that Arne Slot will take over as manager of Liverpool. Although he wasn’t the front-runner at first, he has since made it obvious that Michael Edwards wants him to succeed him when Xabi Alonso decided to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.

To some extent, everyone has been seen frantically trying to figure out why Liverpool’s analytics wizards have selected Slot to succeed Jürgen Klopp. However, it appears that Edwards has discovered a somewhat close style match based on a cursory glance.

According to Melissa Reddy of Sky Sports, Slot overtook Rúben Amorim for that reason. Liverpool would not have liked the big departure that would have resulted from the Portuguese coach’s predilection for three at the back.

Maintaining a generally similar philosophy has evident advantages. It reduces disruption by avoiding the need to go out and make numerous moves to meet the new manager’s style, which helps to ensure a good fit with the current squad.

However, Reddy also mentioned an other, possibly crucial, facet of Edwards’ argument. “Neither the current squad nor the philosophy implemented through all age groups at Liverpool,” the author claims of Amorim.

That age bracket is intriguing. Although Klopp is known for giving young players a chance, Liverpool has also made it possible by making it evident that they are committed to creating a path, making certain that kids can get off the conveyor belt and enter a side that resembles the ones they have been playing in.

The AXA Training Center’s development was closely related to these topics. Owners of Liverpool, FSG, contributed $62 million (£50 million/€58 million) to the initiative, which resulted in a physical closer bond between the senior and younger teams.

Slot should not have to cut off the regular flow of emerging talent if he maintains a generally similar style. That’s not to be taken lightly, considering the effect players like Conor Bradley and Jayden Danns have been able to make this season.

However, Edwards needs to be positive that the evidence hasn’t prompted him to look for a Klopp-lite. Anybody trying to take the place of him would fall short.

None can be a better man-manager than Klopp, after all. Bringing in a motivator who employs similar strategies but falls short would be a certain way to watch Liverpool falter.

Furthermore, the Academy cannot always serve as a shrine to Klopp. It’s fantastic that Liverpool has a distinct club identity and that they’ve established certain fundamental values that should hold up over time, but the cohesiveness of the group could only last so long when the man leaves the building.

There’s also the idea that, after almost nine years, Liverpool would have profited from a somewhat major tactical shock. That’s not to argue that Amorim’s three-at-the-back strategy was a good one, but occasionally changing things up has advantages.

Thus, how Slot may set himself apart from Klopp remains the unanswered question. It would be a grave error to try to mimic him, but if he can be creative within a broadly comparable tactical structure, he would be the ideal addition to Liverpool, from head to toe. Edwards appears to concur.


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