Classical music, not heavy metal – what could Slot's Liverpool look like?

A graphic of new Liverpool manager Arne Slot
Feyenoord finished third, first and second in the Eredivisie in Arne Slot's three seasons in charge [BBC Sport]

It's official. Arne Slot will replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager.

Slot, 45, will arrive after three years in charge of Feyenoord where he delivered one Eredivisie title, the Dutch Cup and reached the Europa Conference League final.

He has big shoes to fill.

Klopp won a place in the hearts of Liverpool fans, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

The Reds won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, two EFL Cups, the Fifa Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup during nine entertaining years under the German.

But with Klopp gone, Liverpool have turned to a Dutchman who has constantly overachieved with his teams in the Netherlands so far.

Could Slot, who turned down Tottenham interest 12 months ago to stay at Feyenoord, prove to be the next big thing?

And what will Liverpool look like under the man who lists Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola as one of his biggest inspirations?

'Slot may need to adapt to achieve Klopp levels of success'

Carteret Analytics - which provides detailed manager assessments to Premier League, EFL, Bundesliga and MLS clubs - has assessed Slot and compared his style of football to that of Klopp's, using quantitative metrics indicating strengths and weaknesses (as at 30 April 2024).

The company says: "There are some similarities between the two managers. Both Slot and Klopp are strong advocates of 4-3-3 formations which might assist with a transition of the current Liverpool squad from Klopp to Slot, and both enjoy identical levels of possession.

"Nevertheless, there is a notable difference in how Slot and Klopp implement the 4-3-3 formation. If Klopp is heavy metal football, then Slot is classical music.

"Slot has similarly high levels of possession, but the build and transition through the phases - from defence to attack - is much slower. Slot's teams do also seem to be more 'leaky', allowing the opposition to convert more shots to goals."

Slot has a high level of 'football intelligence', according to Carteret Analytics, and a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of his own players.

But the Dutchman "may need to adapt" in order to achieve similar levels of success as Klopp.

"He has the advantage of being well versed in a 4-3-3 formation, and as such the current Liverpool players do not have to adapt to a completely different style of play or formations," the analysts add.

"However, the pace of play could be dramatically different if Slot continues with his current approach at Feyenoord.

"And it is this that raises a key question for Liverpool supporters who have become accustomed to a particular attacking style of play under Klopp.

"Will they be happy with a much more methodical and, by comparison, pedestrian style of play?

"Or, instead of the players and supporters having to adapt to a slower style of play, could Slot himself swap his preferred classical music football for a bit more heavy metal and increase the tempo and speed of transition from defence to attack?"

Will Liverpool's stars stay?

Slot arrives at Liverpool with the future of some of the club's biggest stars up in the air.

Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk are all out of contract in the summer of 2025.

While captain and Netherlands defender Van Dijk has said he wants to be part of the club's transition after the departure of Klopp, it remains to be seen if Salah will finish his career at Anfield.

With 211 club goals - including 25 in 2023-24 despite a serious hamstring injury - since joining from Roma in 2017, Salah remains a prize asset.

Liverpool will not want the Egypt forward, who turns 32 in June, to walk away for nothing, but it is understood talks between the club and the player about a new contract are yet to start.

Will Slot build a team around Alexander-Arnold?

The Liverpool academy graduate said after winning the 2019 Champions League: "I'm just a normal lad from Liverpool whose dream has just come true."

Former Liverpool and England midfielder Danny Murphy said: "I don't think getting Trent signed up will be a problem because he is a local lad who loves Liverpool."

Slot is known for giving young talent a chance.

With Jarell Quansah, 21, Conor Bradley, 20, and 19-year-old Stefan Bajcetic plus others, Slot will be excited at the exciting young flair he has at his disposal.

There will be departures this summer which will help free up space for new arrivals.

Thiago Alcantara, the former Bayern Munich midfielder, and defender Joel Matip will leave when their contracts expire at the end of June.

New chance for Nunez?

Despite some erratic finishing, Darwin Nunez showed some flashes of brilliance and finished 2023-24 with 18 goals and 13 assists in all competitions.

Nunez is set to lead Uruguay's attack at the Copa America, which takes place in the United States between 20 June and 14 July.

Will he play a big part in Slot's plans when he returns? Is he the right fit for the new man in charge and what should Liverpool do with him?

Nunez's best level disappeared just when Liverpool needed him to deliver goals towards the end of the season, but Slot could still decide to give him a chance in his preferred 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formations.

"Manchester City - and again it is not my intention to compare us with them - have a similar style of play to how we want to play with Feyenoord: 4-3-3, building up from the back, wanting to apply pressure quickly," said Slot in an interview with Voetbal International in May 2023.

Getting the best out of Nunez could be one of Slot's biggest challenges.

In the list of 'big chances missed' in the Premier League this season, Nunez is second with 27.

Only Manchester City's Erling Haaland (33) has missed more big chances. Haaland, however, is still set to claim the Premier League's Golden Boot award presented to the leading scorer after scoring 27 times.

There has been much to admire about Nunez during different stages of the season. He has hit the woodwork more times than anyone else in the Premier League in 2023-24 (nine times).

Unfortunately, he is ending the campaign out of form with one goal in 12 appearances.

The question is: will Slot get a potential match-winner - who cost an initial £64m when Liverpool signed him on a six-year deal in 2022 - firing again?