What does a perfect summer look like for Arne Slot's Liverpool?

  • There are several things that need to happen for this to be a perfect summer
  • Liverpool must be willing to move on from Starting XI staples 
  • Shrewd transfer business is the order of the day for Edwards and Co.
Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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Let's preface our wishful thinking with a hard truth; if the Slot era strives to be a replica of the Klopp era, it will fail. Rather than trying to pick up where the last gaffer left off, and play the style that was so patently his, the new boss will need to focus on making his mark in his own way.

In addition to playing the slightly different formation and highly different philosophy that have defined Slot's career thus far, this shift will start with moving away players who were brought in to play Klopp's Gegenpressing-heavy system and bringing in ones better-suited to the new ways.

So, we'll start there- with the players who need to get out of Anfield this summer.

Exiting players

Of course, with the existence of free transfers, we already know a few reds who will be heading out over the summer, namely Joël Matip and Thiago Alcântara.

However, it could easily be argued that some players who are still under contract need to go- some big names, in fact.

Let's talk about the difference between Slot's footballing philosophy and Klopp's. The style we've seen from Liverpool the past near-decade has been absolutely electric at its best, unwatchable at its worst, and chaotic at all times.

Under Slot, order should reign a bit more, especially on the wings; there might be less freedom on the outside in this system than we've seen in years past.

There's also more of an emphasis on build-up through the middle, leading to increased emphasis on progressive passing from players in central positions.

The good news is that Liverpool showed plenty of improvement in that area of the pitch this season due to strong showings from a trio of newcomers, but it might already be time to recoup some value on one of the three, Wataru Endō.

The Japanese international performed admirably this year, but clearly lost steam down the stretch and will turn 32 during the upcoming season.

He could be a useful rotational player, but Transfermarkt suggests that he could be worth around €13 million- that would be a nice chunk of cash considering what he might have left on the tank.

Here's where we really start to shake things up- it's time to cut losses on the Darwin Nunez experiment.

Yes, the raw goalscoring and assist numbers for the Uruguayan striker were decent, but the eye test tells you all you need to know. High talent level aside, his poor feel for the game continued to lead him to squander extremely simple chances at a record-setting pace and constantly be caught offsides.

It's also worth noting that lots of his production came against the likes of Bournemouth, Sparta Prague, and LASK, while he failed to perform against the likes of Manchester City or United.

Simply put, he only scored two more goals than Christian Benteke did in his much-maligned Liverpool campaign, and he did it while actually scoring fewer per 90 minutes than the unanimously-considered flop, all while playing for a far superior Liverpool side.

The good news is that while Liverpool will never bring back the patently hilarious £85 million fee for which Nunez was acquired, they can bring in a very helpful sum- he's still valued at €70 million by Transfermarkt.

In a similar vein, Luis Díaz is valued at €75 million; he hasn't been quite as wasteful as Darwin, but he's shown little composure around goal, and while his explosivity is appreciated, it's not as valuable in the slot season.

Simply put, 0.27 goals per 90 in the Premier League is not going to cut it; as fun as Díaz is to watch, it's probably time to sell high on a player acquired for a fairly reasonable fee of €50 million.

Of course, with players being sold, there will be roster spots to fill and funds with which to fill them- let's talk about who could come in and help the Reds chase titles.