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Arne Slot predicts smooth transition as Liverpool move on after Jurgen Klopp era

Arne Slot called on Liverpool's players and supporters to pick up where they left off under Jurgen Klopp as he predicted a smooth transition ahead of his first season in charge at Anfield.

The 45-year-old, who formally began work on June 1, praised his predecessor for helping launch a "fantastic era" for the Premier League, with the 2019 Champions League winner having forged European football's defining rivalry with Manchester City's Pep Guardiola.

Klopp stood down at the end of last season after nine years in the job, paving the way for former Feyenoord coach Slot to step into the role.

Speaking to the club's website in his first interview since taking the job, he said in a message to supporters: "There is a change. But the change hopefully isn't that big, because we still have the same players.

"We still have the same fans. And if both are going to do the same job, that will make my life a lot more easy.

"I'm expecting them to show up again in the upcoming season. The same for the players. I will do everything in my interest and power to lead the team in the best possible way."

Under Klopp, Liverpool won the Premier League title in 2020, the first time they had been crowned champions in 30 years and twice finished runners-up to Guardiola's City.

In each of those two campaigns in 2018/19 and 2021/22 they were involved in a breathless race with their rivals, fishing with a record number of points for a side not to win the league.

Slot pointed to the "tremendous job" done by the German to restore Liverpool's status as regular title contenders and said Klopp's work had meant he takes over with the squad well positioned to continue to challenge near the top of the division.

"I'm 45 now, watching football for a long time and watching football a lot," he said.

"There's been an era where everybody looked at the Barcelona side of Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta and (Lionel) Messi. The rivalry with Real Madrid with Cristiano Ronaldo being there.

"I think when that came to an end, the new rivalry in European football came between Jurgen and Pep Guardiola.

"I think for everyone that loves football, it was a fantastic era, both of them getting the best out of each other.

"I've seen a lot of games of Liverpool, a lot of games of City as well. When you live in Europe, the Premier League is probably the nicest league to follow.

"He's done a tremendous job over here and I'm really happy with that as a fan. But now as his successor, he left Liverpool in the best possible way I think. Very good team, so looking forward to it."

Slot was an Eredivisie winner with Feyenoord in 2022/23, the first time the club had been crowned champions in the Netherlands since 2017, and is considered one of the best coaches in the club's history.

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