Liverpool coach Jay Spearing speaks out on club’s pursuit of Feyenoord boss Arne Slot | Football

Arne Slot has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool academy coach Jay Spearing is confident Arne Slot would be a great fit for the club, though believes the job of replacing Jurgen Klopp is going to be a ‘difficult role’ for any incoming manager.

Slot, 45, has emerged as the clear frontrunner to take over the reins from Klopp in the summer, with Feyenoord believed to be holding out for a compensation fee of €15million (£12.8m) for their head coach.

Xabi Alonso had initially been identified as Liverpool’s first-choice candidate to take charge on Merseyside but the Spaniard effectively ruled himself out of the running last month as he committed his immediate future to Bayer Leverkusen.

And while Sporting boss Ruben Amorim has been linked in recent weeks, it appears the Reds are going all out for Slot and the Dutchman is said to be eager to push through a move to Anfield ‘at all costs’.

Virgil van Dijk, speaking after the side’s painful 2-0 defeat at Everton, said he felt Slot had the right ‘philosophy’ and playing style to succeed should the club wrap up a deal for his fellow countryman.

And it appears former Liverpool midfielder Spearing, now a coach with the Under-21 team, agrees with Van Dijk’s verdict of the Feyenoord manager.

‘From what I’ve looked at and from what I’ve heard, Arne Slot is very offensive with his football. He’s on the front foot, aggressive, attacking, but he also looks at himself as a well drilled coach that wants to defend and keep clean sheets,’ Spearing told Stadium Astro.

Liverpool coach Jay Spearing

Spearing is confident Slot would ‘suit’ Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

‘He’s a manager that would maybe suit the Liverpool style, on the front foot, wanting to score goals, wanting to play attractive football, has a certain way of playing the game, but also wants to be a real nut to crack as well.

‘He wants to keep clean sheets, he wants to win things, he’s had a very successful season with Feyenoord.

‘Whoever comes in to follow Jurgen Klopp is going to have a difficult role, but whoever comes in has to go and take the role on, do it his way and hopefully there are successful times ahead for the club.’

Klopp announced he would be stepping down back in January (Picture: Getty)

Spearing feels it is important that Liverpool are able to keep hold of their ‘key players’ as they enter a period of transition in the post-Klopp era.

‘I think it’s a good sign that Liverpool have reappointed Michael Edwards and obviously Richard Hughes as the sporting director,’ he added.

‘They’re two big appointments and you can see that the club want to sort out the backroom before they go and come forward.

‘Liverpool have known about Jurgen’s decision for such a long time and I don’t think they will be looking now to find a manager. I think things will have been done weeks and months ago. It’s a long process.

Feyenoord manager Arne Slot looks on

Slot is eager to push through a move to Anfield (Picture: Getty)

‘They knew Jurgen was on his way and when Jurgen leaves it will be an incredible loss but, for the future of the club, there are going to be big decisions on players.

‘Is the manager going to come in and is he going to be happy with the dressing room? Players talk about it, “Should we have him? Should we have him?”, but Arne Slot is a proven manager.

‘He’s shown that he can handle a big club, Feyenoord is a big club in Holland, and fingers crossed whoever comes in can keep key players because Liverpool don’t want to be in that transition mode where we start losing key players as well as Jurgen Klopp.’

Asked whether he has a preference for the manager position, Spearing replied: ‘Do you know what? For me, those big decisions aren’t my decision.

‘I’m with the U21s, working with the young lads, and obviously my decisions are mainly ran by the academy director Alex Inglethorpe, but whoever comes in, it will be an absolute privilege to work under.

‘It’s been an incredible 18 months to two years for me to work under Jurgen Klopp and Pepijn Lijnders. The access that we’ve had to them has been incredible. I’ve loved every single minute of it.

‘But whoever comes in, it will be a new challenge, a fresh challenge, but also a new learning time for me. As well as it being disappointing to see Jurgen leave, it’s a really exciting time for the club, a new start and new way of going forward hopefully.’

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