Arne Slot's wild reign as Liverpool boss predicted including shock Salah call and £103m deal for Serie A ace

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How will Arne Slot’s first three seasons with Liverpool play out after he was named as Jurgen Klopp’s successor at Anfield?

A new era will get underway at Liverpool this summer after the Anfield faithful bid an emotional goodbye to long-serving manager Jurgen Klopp.

With memories of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup wins still fresh in the mind, it will be the job of new manager Arne Slot to build on the foundations left behind by the German and carve out his own name with the red half of Merseyside. The Dutchman comes with strong credentials after impressive with Eredivise champions Feyenoord but he will have plenty to prove as he steps into the shoes of a genuine Liverpool legend.

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But how will Slot fare during his time in charge? We here at 3AddedMinutes decided to fire up Football Manager 2024, use the editor to put Slot in charge from this summer, and allow the world’s most popular managerial simulation to predict just how things would pan out for Liverpool over the next three seasons. Buckle up...

The first major deal as Serie A superstar makes record move

Talk about making a big impact. Slot wasted little time in delving into the transfer market following his arrival as he broke Liverpool’s transfer record inside the first two weeks of his appointment. The new Reds boss handed over £103m to land Napoli and Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen in what felt like a real statement of intent from the Dutchman.

Surprisingly, the former Serie A winner spent his first three games as a substitute, replacing Darwin Nunez in the second-half of wins against Ipswich Town and Everton, as well as a draw against Tottenham Hotspur. After failing to find the net in a combined hour of game-time, Osimhen was handed a first start in an Anfield meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers and went on to score twice in a 3-0 win against Gary O’Neil’s side. An injury cut short his first season but he did end with an impressive 13 goals in 14 appearances for the Reds.

Double FA Cup success

Now for the important stuff - silverware. And yes, Slot did land silverware in his first season in charge as he led the Reds to the FA Cup Final with wins over Everton, Fleetwood Town, Spurs, Manchester City and Brentford. That set up a Wembley date with Brighton and a Osimhen-less Liverpool came from behind to lift the cup. Republic of Ireland striker Evan Ferguson put the Seagulls in front on the half-hour mark before Mo Salah and Cody Gakpo goals after the interval gave Slot his first piece of silverware in England.

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Last season's FA Cup final, won by Liverpool, was help on May 14, 2022. But when will the 2023 final be held? (Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Last season's FA Cup final, won by Liverpool, was help on May 14, 2022. But when will the 2023 final be held? (Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Last season's FA Cup final, won by Liverpool, was help on May 14, 2022. But when will the 2023 final be held? (Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) | Getty Images

After losing to Manchester City in the Community Shield to open the following campaign, Slot’s men actually retained the FA Cup as they came through a challenging run of ties. A 2-0 home win in a third round meeting with Arsenal was followed by a 3-2 Anfield triumph against Chelsea. An extra-time win in the fifth round against Southampton came thanks to a 118th minute Salah penalty and a 3-1 triumph at Aston Villa sent the Reds into the semi-final, where they claimed back-to-back finals with a penalty shoot-out win over Man City. The final proved to be far more straightforward as Salah, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez all netted in a 3-0 win against Nottingham Forest.

Shock Salah decision

One feature of the latest Football Manager is frequent interest in Premier League players from the Saudi Pro League - and this was no different. The Reds rejected numerous advances from the Gulf State for Salah and actually tied down the Egyptian forward to a three-year deal during the January 2025 transfer window after Al Nassr and Al-Ittihad has both failed with lucrative bids. Salah continued to be the subject of interest from both clubs but remained with Liverpool until the end of the 2026/27 season when he announced his retirement. For the record, he ended his Anfield career with 253 goals in 421 appearances and has now decided to become a coach - although he is without a club.

Surprise sales as Reds legends head to Saudi

Although Liverpool could not be tempted into the sale of Salah by Saudi clubs, two other Reds stalwarts have made moves to the Pro League. At the end of Slot’s second season in charge, key defender Virgil Van Dijk was the subject of a £37.5m offer from Al-Nassr that was accepted by the Reds. The Dutch centre-back joined the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Robert Lewandowski at his new club - although the latter retired in the same summer Van Dijk arrived. Maybe he just didn’t fancy facing him in training.

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)Liverpool defender Andy Robertson. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Liverpool defender Andy Robertson. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images) | Liverpool FC via Getty Images

One player Van Dijk did face in league action was current Reds team-mate Andy Robertson after the Scotland international joined Al-Ahli on a free transfer just two weeks after his fellow defender has left Anfield. There are some familiar faces in the squad Robertson joined, after Al-Ahli raided the Premier League for Manchester City and England defender John Stones, Tottenham Hotspur forward Heung-Min Son and Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope.

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No Premier League and European titles

The double FA Cup success proved to be the only major trophies won by Slot during his first three seasons in charge at Anfield. We aren’t Jose Mourinho, so the 4-3 win over Manchester City in the 2026/27 Community Shield does not count. There was frustration in the other domestic cup during Slot’s first year at the club as his side suffered a 1-0 defeat against Pep Guardiola’s side in the Carabao Cup Final and that was the high line in the competition for the Dutchman.

In terms of the Premier League, emulating Klopp’s 2019/20 title win remained out of reach as Liverpool claimed runners-up spot in Slot’s first two seasons before slipping to fifth during his third campaign. During the three seasons, City claimed two titles before Arsenal secured top spot at the end of the 2026/27 campaign. As for Europe, Slot guided the Reds to the Champions League quarter-finals in all three seasons - but that is where their interest ended after defeats against Arsenal, AC Milan and Real Madrid.

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