Rafa Benitez sends big warning to Arne Slot and questions Liverpool players

Liverpool hero Rafa Benitez has had his say after the Reds appointed Arne Slot as their new manager (Image: GETTY)

Liverpool hero Rafa Benitez has warned Arne Slot to “understand the culture of the club” after taking the top job at Anfield. The Merseysiders confirmed Slot’s appointment on Monday, with the Dutchman having the unenviable task of succeeding genius manager Jurgen Klopp.

Benitez guided Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005 during a six-year spell in the north west. And the 64-year-old told The Telegraph: “Liverpool have seen qualities in Arne that they like.

“My biggest advice to him or to any manager is he must be himself while understanding the culture of the club and the city he is coming to work. Once he understands that, he has made a positive first step and he will be guided down the right path.”

Klopp will go down as one of the finest managers in Liverpool history after bringing Premier League silverware to Anfield for the first time ever in 2020. The German also guided the Reds to Champions League and Club World Cup success, as well as FA Cup and Carabao Cup glory. But the team he built could be on the verge of breaking up, with ageing stars Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk being linked to moves away from the club.

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Liverpool have confirmed that Arne Slot will succeed Jurgen Klopp as their manager (Image: GETTY)

And Benitez added: “If you already have a good team, you can win straight away. There may not be too much to do in the transfer market. But if you are taking over a team coming to the end of a cycle, or where big players want to leave, the challenge is different.

“Players in their mid-30s will not perform like they did at 28. They are already in decline. The first two or three signings for the new manager are always massive. You have to get it right straight away.”

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Slot quit Feyenoord to move to England after leading the Dutch side to the Eredivisie title last season and the Dutch Cup this time around. And after his appointment was announced, the 45-year-old told the Feyenoord website “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 cooperate in this transition.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1901655/Liverpool-Rafa-Benitez-Arne-Slot