A look at Arne Slot's preseason priorities with Liverpool

With a huge debut season on the horizon, how will the new gaffer spend his summer?

The Slot era will be kicking off in just over a month, and even though the gaffer's players are currently spread across the world on international duty, it's time to start thinking about what his offseason strategy might look like.

Let's talk about the things that should be on the forefront of the new Liverpool coach's mind as he kicks off his first preseason in charge.

Figure out what to do with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Conor Bradley

Two of Liverpool's best, most dynamic players play at the same position, and getting the most possible value out of both of them is of tremendous importance for Slot as he takes over.

The simple answer is to play Alexander-Arnold in the midfield and let Bradley take over at right back, as he doesn't have the passing acumen of the more experienced player.

However, the Trent midfield experiment is already underway, as he's playing that role for England at the Euros. Unfortunately, it's not going too well- or is it?

Trent Alexander-Arnold
England v Slovenia: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024 / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

The narrative is that Alexander-Arnold has struggled in midfield; he's been subbed off relatively early in his two starts, and was then benched for the third group stage game.

But given everything we know about Trent, and everything we know about Gareth Southgate, poor management is a much more reasonable explanation than poor play.

Just about nobody is at their best for Southgate's England, least of all someone adapting to a new position, but our Scouser is still standing out more than the headlines would have you believe.

Despite playing just 129 of the 270+ minutes of England's group stage matches, Trent led the team in chance creation while playing a key role in possession.

The early returns aren't perfect, but they're promising enough to imply that with a bit of time, patience, and a better overall system, Trent could be a top-tier midfielder.

With a second talent as promising as Bradley waiting in the wings at right back, it's worth investing the time to see if it will work out for club more consistently than it has for country.

Running drills and scrimmages these two players both on the pitch in these roles is an important start to this major philosophical change in Liverpool's side.

Spend multiple training sessions drilling nothing but chance-finishing scenarios

This one is as simple as can be; Liverpool cannot afford another season filled with great scoring chances that never turn into goals.

Darwin Núñez takes most of the heat in this area, and rightly so- nobody has ever converted big chances at a rate as low as he did last season, right around 20%. That being said, he's far from the entire problem.

Luis Díaz couldn't find any finishing consistency, even though the numbers weren't as dramatic as Darwin's, Cody Gakpo struggled to bang in chances from a central role, Dominik Szoboszlai lost his confidence midway through the campaign, and even Mo Salah went through a brutal finishing slump down the stretch.

Harvey Elliott, Mohamed Salah
Aston Villa v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

Diogo Jota is as clinical as anyone, but his health cannot be relied upon at this point; Liverpool will need their other attacking players to be more clinical.

Whether this is a matter of sports psychology, as it appears to be with Núñez at the very least, or simply a need for development of muscle memory, Slot needs to figure out what his team needs in order to turn simple goalscoring opportunities into goals, and match-long dominance into points on the table.

Identify potential successors at key positions

This is a broad one, but as the coach of Liverpool's next era, Slot must be looking forward. As great as they currently are, Liverpool legends like Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Alisson are all north of 30 years old, and will need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

This is least true for Alisson, as goalkeepers can have prolonged peaks, and most true of Robertson and Salah, who are already losing a step pace wise.

Salah can move inside as his playmaking continues to progress, but that will still leave a hole at right wing.

Unfortunately, there's nowhere to hide a 6'5" centre-back; when Virgil is done, he's done, and the same can be said of Alisson, while Robertson is a bit more switchable but hasn't really played many other spots on the pitch.

The search for players to fill these four enormous pairs of shoes isn't an urgent one, but it's an important one, so starting well in advance is key.

Some of the pursuit will take place internally; securing the likes of Ibrahima Konaté, Jarell Quansah, and even Joe Gomez for the long-term will be key for replacing Virgil, while Caoimhin Kelleher is six years younger than Alisson, and could eventually be a fine goalkeeper if he stays.

Replacing Salah and Robertson, however, will probably require a foray into the transfer market.

That could start this offseason- Riccardo Calafiori is a trendy pick to step in at left back this summer- while it could mean monitoring rising young talents who could step in for Salah down the road, as right wing is reasonably deep in the immediate term.

Regardless of the approach taken, Slot absolutely must be thinking beyond this campaign.

As a head coach, rather than a true manager, he doesn't have as much transfer influence as Klopp, but Michael Edwards is sure to listen to his input, so he should certainly be thinking about the players he wants to replace the soon-to-be outgoing superstars of the club.