Three Arne Slot storylines to watch out for next season at Liverpool

  • Arne Slot officially became Liverpool manager on June 1st
  • The Dutch manager will have many questions to answer in his first season
  • What are three storylines surrounding Arne Slot to watch?
Liverpool manager Arne Slot
Liverpool manager Arne Slot / ANP/GettyImages

Although yet to be unveiled to the English media, Arne Slot became Liverpool manager on June 1st, replacing long-time manager Jurgen Klopp. With Jurgen Klopp influencing the club for nearly a decade, all eyes will be on Slot to see how the Dutchman conducts himself at the Premier League level. There will be pressure on the new manager and many questions he must answer. So, what are some of the storylines for Arne Slot in his first season at Liverpool?

Three Arne Slot storylines to watch out for next season at Liverpool

1. How will Liverpool begin the season under Arne Slot?

Perhaps an obvious question but an important one nonetheless. With AZ in the Eredivisie, Slot had an insanely impressive start, picking up 19 points in his first eight matches in charge. At the beginning of the 2019-20 season, Slot's AZ side lost just four times in 2019 in all competitions.

Slot's first Eredivise season with Feyenoord also began strong, albeit that is expected for the Rotterdam side no matter what. In his first 16 Eredivisie games as Feyenoord manager, the club lost just twice.

Of course Liverpool could be presented with a tough schedule to start the season but Slot will be expected to have a strong start. This won't be a transition season the Reds despite a transition in the managerial spot from Klopp to Slot. The Dutch manager will be watched closely to perform quickly with Liverpool, with the expectation that he can install his style of play early in the squad.

2. What will be the benchmark for success next season for Arne Slot?

On paper, this Liverpool squad can still compete for trophies; they did it this past season. No one important to last season's efforts left, and with that, there's no reason to believe that going trophyless next season is reasonable. While expectations should be high, they also need to be realistic. If Liverpool fails to win the Champions League, there shouldn't be riots, but at the bare minimum, the Reds should aim for the quarterfinal knockouts.

It seems as though Arsenal and Manchester City will be battling it out for the title again next season. Liverpool's position should be to be the best of the rest and, again, like last season, finish comfortably in third. That may not be enough for a lot of supporters, but the reality is there are two clubs who are a talent level above Liverpool at the moment.

Looking at the two domestic cup competitions, Liverpool will be among the favourites to win at least one. With the Champions League and Premier League being massive mountains for Arne Slot and Liverpool to climb, the Reds trophy cabinet will likely get bigger via the FA Cup or EFL Cup if it does get bigger.

3. Who could be breakout candidates under Arne Slot?

While there are some parallels in philosophy between Arne Slot and Jurgen Klopp, the tactics (and sometimes the formation) will be different. A different output of play could potentially allow some players to not only earn bigger chances but also play different roles that may suit them more.

One of the obvious players to mention is Dominik Szoboszlai. Many thought Dominik struggled to be effective in the final third this past season at Liverpool, and part of that came down to him not being tasked with doing loads offensively. Looking at Slot's Feyenoord team this past season, Quinten Timber operated in the midfield but was often pushed higher up the pitch above the rest of the midfielders. Timber recorded 16 goal contributions in the Eredivisie last season. If Dominik can earn a similar role, perhaps his goal contributions total can rise.

Cody Gakpo could be another player who may benefit from Arne Slot's move to Liverpool. Let's not pretend both of being Dutch means anything, but Slot having plenty of time watching Gakpo in the Eredivisie may influence his decisions. He'll know first-hand how lethal Gakpo can be. Across two seasons, in 2022, Gakpo faced off against Slot's Feyenoord twice, with the Dutch forward having three goals and three assists in those matches.