Transfer

Dutch Liverpool star gives verdict on Arne Slot appointment

Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo believes Arne Slot’s footballing philosophy will make him a strong successor to Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. 

Slot officially started his job as Liverpool manager on Saturday but has big shoes to fill as he replaces Klopp, who won Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup titles during his nine years in charge.

However, Slot arrives on Merseyside with plenty of pedigree himself having led Dutch giants Feyenoord to the 2022/23 Eredivisie title and this season’s KNVB Cup, while they also reached the 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League final, losing 1-0 to Roma.

Slot was known at Feyenoord for playing an intense, attacking brand of football not dissimilar to that which Klopp is associated with and compatriot Gakpo believes he could be a good fit for the Reds.

“I think so, otherwise the club wouldn’t have appointed him,” Gakpo told De Telegraaf (via the Independent).

“If you talk about neat football and high pressure, with the latter being a very big characteristic of us under Jurgen Klopp, then that is also something we are certainly used to.”

Gakpo to thrive under Slot?

Cody Gakpo (R) celebrates with teammates after his shot is deflscted into the net off two West Ham players during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Liverpool at the London Stadium, in London on April 27, 2024.

The arrival of a Dutch manager might be just what Gakpo needs to truly ignite his Liverpool career.

Arriving from PSV in January 2023, Gakpo’s time at Anfield can be described as solid so far, hitting 23 goals and nine assists in 79 appearances across all competitions.

However, only 23 of those direct goal involvements (15g/8a) have come in Premier League play, with Gakpo finding more joy in the Europa League and EFL Cup, where he’s scored eight goals in 14 combined appearances.

Whether or not Slot will favour his compatriot as Liverpool’s No.9 option over the likes of Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota remains to be seen.

“I have not spoken to him before… (but) I do know that he has always made it very difficult for us at PSV and is known as a very good trainer, of course,” Gakpo said of his experience of Slot as a coach.

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