Premier League • England

Arne Slot warned of cataclysmic Liverpool dangers as Reds icon names star he must ‘instantly win over’

Arne Slot and Jurgen Klopp

Arne Slot will succeed Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager

Arne Slot has been warned that he is stepping into “not such a healthy situation” at Liverpool, having been given a very bleak warning of the job he faces at Anfield and of the one star he must immediately get on side.

The Merseysiders are preparing for what they hope will be a new golden chapter in their history with Slot on the verge of officially being confirmed as the next Liverpool manager in succession to Jurgen Klopp. The German is now just over two weeks away from taking charge of his final match for the Reds after an incredible eight-and-a-half-year stint in the dug-out.

Klopp’s legacy as one of Liverpool‘s greatest ever managers will remain in tact when he waves an emotional goodbye to Anfield following the May 19 Premier League clash against Wolves, despite what has been an extremely difficult end to the season.

And while seven major trophies, not to mention four European finals, in his time at the helm means he will be remembered with enormous affection, their struggles at the back end of this season suggest a squad that has both run out of steam and also potentially needs a fair bit of attention.

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There was also that unsavoury touchline row with arguably the most important and symbolic player of his reign – Mo Salah – down at West Ham on Sunday, with the Egyptian hinting at their fractured relationship by stressing there will be “fire” if he speaks any more about their very-public falling out.

Souness warns Slot of big Liverpool dangers

As a result, Slot – who has been personally selected by Michael Edwards as the man to ensure their drop-off post Klopp is as minimal as it can be – has been warned he will be walking into a job that is somewhat fraught with quite an alarming number of difficulties and issues that need fixing.

And according to former Liverpool midfield enforcer and former manager-turned pundit, Graeme Souness, the club’s late-season collapse is in keeping for the issues that Slot must look to quickly address.

And while the straight-talking Scot claims Liverpool’s players and staff “have got to look at themselves” after letting slip their chances of winning the FA Cup, Europa League and now the Premier League over a wretched six-week period, Souness also believes it shows the departing Feyenoord coach that he faces an uphill battle to ensure their malaise does not continue.

“After the Carabao Cup final I would have said whoever gets the Liverpool job is walking into a very healthy situation,” Souness told the Daily Mail.

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“But I look at it now and it’s not such a healthy situation. If we are talking about what the future looks like for Liverpool, are we looking at Liverpool for the first seven months of the season? Or are we talking about Liverpool for the last few months of the season? Because only the players can answer that and we have to wish the new manager the best of luck.

“It’s a disappointing end to the season for Liverpool.

“I thought they would win the Premier League. They were playing a brand of football where they didn’t have to play well to win games because there was so much firepower in the team.

“That’s gone in the last couple of months, and they’ve gone from a team that could score for fun to a team that can’t score. They’ve got to look at themselves. At the time that really mattered, they couldn’t deal with that pressure for whatever reason.”

Next Liverpool boss Slot told of first Reds star he must win over

If Slot is to become a success at Anfield, he may need to consider something of a rebuilding programme with eight players poised to follow Klopp out of Liverpool this summer.

However, there remains the nucleus of a very-talented squad – one of the best in the Premier League to be fair – with a number of ultra-talented individuals.

And Souness reckons he must quickly convince one of those in Virgil van Dijk to stick around next season and beyond, inspite of his advancing years, if his reign on Merseyside is to get off to the best possible start.

“He will know everything about Slot, being Dutch himself,” Souness said. “Thinking about it he is the one he must get on side. Slot must get Van Dijk on side.”

Question marks have been raised over the future of the defender, who has enjoyed a brilliant season for Liverpool but does turn the ripe old age of 33 over the summer.

And with his deal due to expire in summer 2025, speculation has risen of late that the experienced Netherlands skipper could be the subject of a summer transfer approach from Bayern Munich. Soon-to-be-promoted Saudi Arabia side Al-Qadisiah are also keen on a deal.

Van Dijk, though, recently stressed his loyalty to the Reds, telling the Men in Blazers podcast that suggestions he could look to leave have been misunderstood.

“It’s much taken out of context. To be 100 per cent clear, I’m fully committed to the club. I love the club, I love the fans. It is fully taken out of context. It’s not about me, it’s not about I, It’s about us and nothing has changed.”

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