Liverpool announce Arne Slot as Jurgen Klopp’s successor as departure from tradition confirmed

Will Ford
Incoming Liverpool boss Arne Slot
Arne Slot is the new Liverpool manager.

Former Feyenoord coach Arne Slot has been confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s successor at Liverpool.

However, in a departure from tradition, the Dutchman will become the club’s first head coach rather than manager.

Slot has reportedly signed a three-year contract and will officially take over on June 1, subject to a work permit.

Liverpool’s exhaustive search – incorporating sophisticated data analysis, character and performance research, market assessment, performance evaluation and various other indicators – identified the 45-year-old as their preferred candidate several weeks ago and his desire to take the job allowed for a swift appointment.

£9.4m compensation to Feyenoord

It has been an open secret for some time, with Liverpool paying £9.4million compensation to Feyenoord to secure his services and Slot confirmed Anfield was his next destination at his final pre-match press conference at the Eredivisie club on Friday.

Liverpool were keen to move swiftly to replace Klopp with a number of other top European clubs also looking to recruit managers in what was seen as a “challenging market” this summer.

Slot was attractive to owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) as they believe he has demonstrated a reputation for over-performance with AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord, being able to bring the best out of players and has a clear footballing identity, while also adopting an holistic and collegiate approach which fits with their ethos.

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The new Liverpool structure

His job title of head coach means he fits into the new football structure which has had an overhaul in the last few months with two former sporting directors – Michael Edwards and Julian Ward – returning to the fold as FSG’s chief executive of football and technical director respectively.

New sporting director Richard Hughes has been recruited from Bournemouth and will officially begin work on June 1.

In his final speech to Anfield, Klopp urged fans to throw their full support behind Slot.

“You welcome the new manager like you welcomed me. You go all-in from the first day. And you keep believing and you push the team,” said Klopp, who sang Slot’s name to the tune of Opus’ Live is Life, one of the songs the crowd had adapted for the German.

Slot was asked earlier this month about what his job title might be at Anfield.

“I’m not interested in what you call me: you can call me Arne, head coach or manager,” he said.

“I don’t care as long as I can do what I like and that is being with the players on the pitch, working with them and being at the games as that is the most special.”