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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Arne Slot: Liverpool offer ‘difficult to ignore’ but ‘not an easy decision’ to make, new manager says

New Liverpool manager Arne Slot has said the chance to manage in the Premier League was “difficult to ignore” but described his decision to leave Feyenoord as “certainly not easy”.

The Reds confirmed on Monday that Slot will become the first Dutchman to take charge at Anfield, having reached a £9.4 million deal with the Dutch side in April.

“Feyenoord is the club where I was able to celebrate the first major successes in my career as a trainer and where I experienced many great matches, so I cherish those memories,” Slot told his former club.

“It is certainly not an easy decision to close the door behind you at a club where you have experienced so many wonderful moments and worked successfully with so many wonderful people.

“But as a sportsman, an opportunity to become a head coach in the Premier League, at one of the biggest clubs in the world, is difficult to ignore. I am grateful to Feyenoord for their willingness to co-operate in this transition.”

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Slot signed off with a 4-0 home win over Excelsior in the Eredivisie on Sunday, when his Liverpool predecessor, Jurgen Klopp, ended his own reign of almost nine years with a 2-0 victory against visitors Wolves.

Feyenoord won the 2022/23 Dutch top flight in the second of Slot’s three seasons in charge, as well as leading them to the Uefa Europa Conference League final in his debut campaign.

Arne Slot: Liverpool manager ‘exceptional’

“You don’t like to let go of a trainer who has meant as much to the club as Arne,” said Feyenoord general manager Dennis te Kloese, calling Slot’s approach from Liverpool “a special and unique opportunity for him”.

“With that in mind, we started the conversation to see if we could find a solution together – and in the end, we succeeded. Liverpool are gaining an exceptional professional.

“We can look back with pride and gratitude on the years when Arne was our head coach. Under his leadership and with a group of very good people around him, players have developed excellently, the public has been entertained with great football and… great results have been achieved.”

In Klopp’s final season, Liverpool challenged champions Manchester City and runners-up Arsenal until a late slump in results which also ended their hopes of winning the Europa League.

Their third-placed finish means they will return to the Champions League in their first season with Slot at the helm.

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