Slot set to continue Klopp’s playing style at Liverpool and accepts he has ‘big shoes to fill’

It appears the high-energy, heavy-metal soccer that brought Jurgen Klopp so much success at Liverpool isn’t going to disappear now that he has gone.

Arne Slot was presented as Klopp’s successor as Liverpool manager on Friday and the 45-year-old Dutchman said he wasn’t planning to change too much.

“I think one of the reasons why (Liverpool) came to me was my playing style is not so much different,” said Slot, who left Dutch club Feyenoord after three seasons in charge. “We both like the fans to come into the stadium and see a team that plays with a lot of energy, plays good football and that’s the thing I’m focused on most.”

Richard Hughes, Liverpool’s new sporting director who identified Slot as the ideal replacement for Klopp, said the new manager’s playing style “lend really well with the kind of squad we have, the supporters and the football club as a whole.”

“That philosophy, that playing style that attracted us to Arne is based on subjective footballing opinion and data,” said Hughes, who was sitting next to Slot at the news conference at Anfield. “In all the metrics, Arne’s Feyenoord team came out really well.

“The way they played with a real front-foot, attacking football, with intentions, with passion, they are attributes we welcome here at Liverpool.”

Klopp was Liverpool’s manager for nine years, in which time he won its first league title since 1990, the Champions League and five other major trophies in his time at the Merseyside club.

Klopp also forged such a connection with the port city that he has been compared to Bill Shankly, the club’s most legendary manager.

Slot said there is excitement more than trepidation in following in Klopp’s footsteps.

“I think you can look at it both ways — yes, they are big shoes to fill but you also inherit a squad and a team that has a winning culture,” he said. “I do feel we have a really good team and squad and as a manager, you want to work at a club where there are good players with the opportunity to win something.

“And the past has shown there is a possibility for Liverpool to win some trophies. I think you look at it as being the successor of someone really successful, but I look at that as ideal because there is an opportunity to win something.”


AP soccer:

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