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Arne Slot can use Santiago Gimenez experience to bring the best out of misfiring Liverpool attackers

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By Siddharth Juyal

New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot could change the trajectory of the misfiring attackers at the club next season

Incoming Liverpool head coach Arne Slot is a perfect individual to improve the misfiring attackers at the club. The Liverpool attackers have struggled with their composure and finishing which has played a big role in their sudden downfall.

The Reds enjoyed a terrific season until mid-March when they self-destructed, failing to add to their Carabao Cup win.  Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz faced severe criticism for showing complacency and wasting numerous chances.

Liverpool crashed out the of FA Cup and the Europa League in the respective quarter-finals despite having numerous opportunities. They also stumbled badly in their Premier League title chase with two losses and two draws in the last five games.

Liverpool crash out of the UEFA Europa League as Jurgen Klopp speaks about what's to come.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has run out of energy to continue as the club’s manager.

The Reds have conceded many early goals this season but relied on their attack to pull themselves back every time. However, as complacency grew the attacking lineup stumbled badly and that gradually depleted the team morale.

Furthermore, the opponents compacted their defence after taking the lead and resorted to counter-attacking tactics, pressing Liverpool midfielders into mistakes. The self-destruction has driven them out of ideas and conviction as their once incredible season imploded.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp announced that he is stepping back from the managerial role after this season. The Reds fanbase eagerly understands that succeeding Klopp is an unprecedented task, rightfully being sceptical about the future.

Arne Slot could build Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez into prolific machines as he did with Santiago Gimenez

However, Slot has proven in the Netherlands that he is an incredible man manager and exudes important characteristics and a positive personality. The 45-year-old has worked under a restricted budget at Feyenoord and AZ Alkmaar before, achieving great success.

He managed to enhance the performance of the players he inherited and the ones his club bought. The Dutchman is a fantastic communicator, making sure that players understand what he wants them to do.

Slot emphasizes the importance of players enjoying football and finding the instructions stimulating under his entertaining attack-minded philosophy. Under Slot’s management, numerous players have achieved steep development that exceeded expectations and at times their potential.

Santiago Gimenez is a prime example of a player who joined Feyenoord from Cruz Azul in the summer of 2022. The Mexican forward has enjoyed a prolific club career under Slot in his two seasons at the Dutch club.

Gimenez has immense talent but he lacked the productivity which he has achieved under the guidance of Slot. Despite his achievements at the club level, the 23-year-old has struggled to take his club form to the international level.

While many believe that Gimenez would eventually perform spectacularly at the international level, this goes to show the knowledge Slot has about his players. The 45-year-old is an astute student of the game and works according to the strength of the player.

Liverpool have a terrific attacking line-up that has faced scrutiny from the fans and pundits due to their poor productivity. However, the tactical change and new set of eyes could be the exact things that these players need right now.

Even though Klopp’s man-management skills are second to none, he has continued the use of similar tactics. The fluid three attackers up front and midfielders drop wide for the attackers to go narrow in different phases.

The style worked like magic when Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah interchanged and provided constant goals. A similar strategy has failed to bring the best out of some of the new players, struggling with composure.

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The persisting problem is good evidence of taking Klopp’s predicament seriously when he said he is lacking energy. Our beloved manager needs to prioritize his mental and physical health which he has done by stepping back. Meanwhile, Slot has the opportunity to repeat the Gimenez development with the likes of Nunez and Gakpo. The two forwards have every quality and mindset to become world-class players and Slot could be who they need.

The 4-2-3-1 formation under the Dutchman emphasizes outnumbering the opponents within their box. A problem that Liverpool have faced during their torrid times in recent months, building rash decisions from the forwards.

Liverpool fans could also expect the return of a proper number 10 alongside a rigid main striker who operates in and around the box. As far as man management goes alongside keeping the culture of development and ambition which Klopp installed at Liverpool, the club has appointed the best head coach in Slot.