Arne Slot focused more on developing Liverpool’s talent than on transfers

Liverpool’s new head coach Arne Slot has stressed that he is more focused on developing the talent he has brought to the club than on transfers.

The Dutchman is enthusiastic about the squad left behind by Jürgen Klopp and believes there is great potential to build on last season’s third-place finish.

Asked about potential arrivals after a quiet start to the transfer window at Liverpool, Slot said: “I don’t have specific numbers. It’s clear that we inherited a good team. There were already a few changes last year.

“When I watch football, I see at the European Championship how important it is to work with a team every day and for a long time.

“You see a lot of good players and not all of them have the same level (at the European Championship) as at their club. That shows how important it is to work with players every day and get the best out of them.

“That’s something we’re going to do. The longer a team plays together, if there’s a good head coach, then normally you see things improve. I’m lucky to be going to a club where not many transfers leave the club. It’s harder to progress when you lose players.”

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Slot added that he feels comfortable with the title of head coach rather than manager and that he will have a say in transfer activities.

“For me it’s not a change because in Europe we work like this — it was always like this at my previous clubs,” the 45-year-old explained during his packed unveiling at the AXA Training Centre. “There are not many clubs in the world where one person decides everything. It will be a collaboration between people.

“I don’t think many technical directors hire players that the head coach doesn’t like, or vice versa.

“At a club like this, there are many more people than just the two of us who can contribute their opinions. That’s how I’ve worked in recent years and that’s how I like to work.

“The way I’m going to use my time over the next few weeks is to put the team together as best as I can so that we’re ready for the first game. Working with the players will give us a better understanding of the improvements we need to make.”

Liverpool finished third in the Premier League last season (Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool finished third in the Premier League last season (Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)

New technical director Richard Hughes has suggested that moves are more likely to take place later in the transfer window, once Slot has had time to fully assess the squad.

“First of all, we have to improve the training ground. And with the window open, we will always be opportunistic if we can,” he said, sitting next to Slot.

“If I talk about the whole sector, of course there is attention when there are big tournaments in the summer. After the hustle and bustle that was there (end of June), I think it will be a bit quieter now. That would be my prediction for the month of July.

“When August starts, when there’s been more time to work with players, then opinions at football clubs will be more set. Then you might see a situation in August where clubs are a bit in a hurry to get things done. I see a quiet July, and then maybe a crescendo in August.”

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Hughes declined to comment on the futures of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, who are all entering the final year of their current contracts. “It wouldn’t be fair for me to comment on contractual situations,” he said. “They are private matters between the club and the players.”

(Top photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

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