Football Features

Liverpool transfer targets: Three signings to reshape Arne Slot’s squad

By Will Evans

Published: 8:30, 24 May 2024 | Updated: 13:35, 12 June 2024

Arne Slot has been confirmed as Liverpool’s new manager — and he will be looking to make an immediate impact at Anfield.

The Dutchman’s arrival was officially announced on Monday, after signing a three-year contract to replace outgoing boss Jurgen Klopp.

But Slot will already have clear ideas about how he plans to reshape Liverpool’s squad in his image, ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

We consider how the former Feyenoord coach will shake things up on Merseyside

Changes out wide?

One of the first tasks in Slot’s in-tray will be to determine the future of Mohamed Salah.

The Egyptian, 31, has one year remaining on his current contract and has consistently been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia.

“I don’t want him to go, but in terms of the amount of money you’re going to get, with all the chat that we’ve heard over the season – whether any of that’s true or not, we don’t know. But I think the others are a lot younger, they’re hopefully going to be playing for Liverpool for the foreseeable future,” former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson told Squawka of Salah.

“So he’s the one that’s probably only going to be there for another year or two maximum, so he wouldn’t probably be the one that you would try to replace, again just because the level of money that you would attract.”

Liverpool will want to be prepared for his departure — whether that happens this summer or the following year — so could look to add another winger to their ranks.

Slot has a penchant for direct wide players with plenty of pace, and West Ham’s Mohammed Kudus is one name in the frame.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a sensational debut Premier League campaign, during which he attempted (201) and completed (124) more take-ons than any other player in the division, by some distance.

Defensive reinforcements

Joel Matip’s departure this summer has been confirmed, with the Cameroonian defender leaving Liverpool after eight seasons at Anfield. And his exit could see the Reds look to sign a central defender.

Slot will also be aware that Virgil van Dijk’s current deal expires in 2025, with the Netherlands international revealing that there is currently “no news” regarding an extension.

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Liverpool’s new boss sets up with a particularly high line, so is likely to require a mobile centre-back who is comfortable in possession.

Willian Pacho could be an ideal addition.

The Eintracht Frankfurt star is just 22 years old and distributes the ball well, having completed an impressive 168 final-third passes, 87 long passes and all three of his through-ball attempts this term.

Playmaker purchase?

Liverpool supporters never truly got to see the best of injury-prone playmaker Thiago Alcantara, who is set to end his four-year stint on Merseyside this summer.

But Slot could recruit a creative midfielder to fill the void, with reports suggesting he is keen on a reunion with Orkun Kokcu.

The 23-year-old was a mainstay in the Dutch tactician’s Feyenoord side — scoring 32 goals and registering 27 assists across 175 appearances for the club, before departing for Benfica last summer.

It would require a significant transfer fee to convince Benfica to part with their No.10, but Liverpool may see it as a worthwhile investment for a player who amassed 15 Primeira Liga goal contributions (seven goals, eight assists) and completed the second-most passes into the final third per 90 (20.11) last season.