Liverpool star turning down deal gives Arne Slot first major issue post Jurgen Klopp | Football | Sport

Arne Slot will need to make a quick impression on his Liverpool players to avoid falling victim to an issue Jurgen Klopp never had to deal with. The Dutchman has started work in his new role as he prepares to test his management skills in the Premier League for the very first time.

He will not have Thiago Alcantara or Joel Matip at his disposal, with both players having left the club following the expiry of their contracts. The former has since announced his retirement from football, while Matip is yet to find a new home and remains unattached.

Slot will also be without veteran goalkeeper Adrian, who is set to leave Liverpool after turning down the offer of a new deal. The 37-year-old has already outlined his desire to return to his native Spain after spending the last 11 years in English football.

Adrian’s decision to reject a new contract highlights the change in culture that Slot will be forced to deal with at Liverpool. It shows that players will no longer stick around for the family feel without Klopp in the dugout, given the uncertainty of what may come next.

Klopp managed to command the respect of his squad to the point they would have been willing to run through brick walls for him. It will be hugely important for Slot to make a strong start to his reign at Liverpool in order to replicate the culture under Klopp and keep his players onside.

The former Feyenoord boss already knows that he has big shoes to fill, having underlined the importance of Klopp’s legacy at Liverpool in his first press conference last week.

“It’s more special what Jurgen did to this club,” explained Slot. “When he arrived he said he was ‘the normal one’, but I think what made him special is the impression he left behind. Winning trophies, of course, but his playing style I think the fans loved it.

“Maybe he said he was ‘the normal one’, but I think the fans see him differently. Maybe not as a person, but what he did for the club was more than normal, let’s put it that way.

“It takes some time to understand everything. The way I’m going to use my time in the upcoming weeks is, of course, to make the team in the best possible way and the players in the best possible way for us to be ready for the first game.

“It always helps if you get to know the city but I think as a manager, and everybody knows, it helps even more if you win most of your games. I think with Jurgen it was a combination of getting to know the city, getting to know the style of play the fans like.”

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