‘Perfect fit for Liverpool’ – Ex-Reds ‘keeper thinks Slot could bring ‘sexy football’ to Anfield

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One former Liverpool player who was previously a teammate of Arne Slot is adamant that the Feyenoord manager would be a ‘perfect fit’ for the Reds.

Formal negotiations for the Dutchman have now commenced, and it looks increasingly likely that he’ll be the man to take over from Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

Sander Westerveld, once of this parish, played with the 45-year-old at Sparta Rotterdam in the past, and he’s very excited about the prospect of his former teammate taking the reins on Merseyside.

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The ex-Liverpool goalkeeper told The Times: “I spoke to him this morning and he just said it is not a secret that Liverpool wants him but that he could not say anything. I hope it will happen.

“The job he has done at Feyenoord makes him the perfect fit for Liverpool. He arrived there from AZ Alkmaar. AZ had finished higher up the league than Feyenoord but he still went there because he liked the challenge and he thought the coach was not taking all of the potential out of the team.

“Liverpool have a lot of potential in the squad, and we don’t have the money that Manchester City have to spend, so I think he will get all the potential out of the players.

“He plays in the same style as Jürgen Klopp: sexy football, forward pressing and the percentage of ball recoveries in the opposition half is the highest in Holland. When he loses the ball, he wants the ball back in three seconds.”

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Westerveld’s testimony suggests that there could be some striking similarities between Slot and Klopp which may offer encouragement to Liverpool fans.

The 45-year-old has experience of working wonders with an inferior budget to illustrious domestic rivals and reviving big clubs who’d previously been underperforming, two things the German has achieved at Anfield over the past decade.

The Dutchman’s reputation for intense pressing also has strong echoes of the man from whom he’s poised to take over on Merseyside. Indeed, a graph from The Athletic showed that his Feyenoord side rank in the top 4% of teams in Europe’s seven biggest leagues for ‘intensity’, i.e. opposition touches per tackle made.

They’re also in the top 2% for chance creation (i.e. non-penalty xG per 90 minutes), which attests to the ‘sexy football’ of which Westerveld has spoken.

No Liverpool fans expects Slot to be Klopp 2.0, certainly not straight away, but there are some encouraging portents to indicate that he could preserve many of the German’s best qualities in terms of on-field performance at Liverpool.

If he can manage just that, there’s every chance that he too could enjoy a glorious reign at Anfield, if indeed he’s appointed as the 56-year-old’d successor.

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