The bold £60m signing that could fire Arne Slot's Liverpool into next season's Premier League title race

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There is one move Arne Slot could make that could help him make a serious impact during his first season at Liverpool.

The Jurgen Klopp era is over and Liverpool supporters are cautiously optimistic Arne Slot can build on the foundations left behind by their now-former manager.

Although the Dutchman will look to put his own stamp on the highly-talented squad left behind by his predecessor, there is no doubt Klopp will have departed Anfield safe in the knowledge the man that has stepped into his role will find himself in a far more advantageous position to the one he found when he took charge at Liverpool almost nine years ago.

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That is not to suggest Slot has an easy job and there are some areas that will require improvement as he looks to force the Reds back into the Premier League title race during his first season in charge.

A replacement for Joel Matip must be found after the Cameroon international’s departure was confirmed when Liverpool announced details of their retained list. Of course, Jarell Quansah will believe he has done enough to show he can become first choice to feature alongside Virgil van Dijk over the coming season - but Slot may well feel another centre-back is required.

However, it’s at the other end of the pitch where the new Reds boss may see some long-term value in spending big. Despite featuring in wide positions for the vast majority of the campaign, Mohamed Salah ended the season as the club’s top goalscorer once again last season after finding the net on 25 occasions during the campaign.

Darwin Nunez will look back on his first season with some satisfaction after scoring 18 goals - although his tally could and should have been far more significant. Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota also hit double figures in all competitions. But the introduction of a new striker could well deliver a new focus for Slot and give his newly inherited side with a boost as they look to improve on the third place finish they secured in Klopp’s final season in charge.

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Although Premier League experience should be viewed as preferential rather than essential, there has been speculation one current Premier League frontman could well depart his current employers after enjoying a highly-successful - some would say unmatched - two-year spell with the club. During that time, this forward has become a two-time Premier League winner, a Champions League Final winner, an FA Cup winner, a UEFA Super Cup winner and a FIFA World Club Cup winner - but perhaps most impressively he was also part of the Argentina squad that become World Cup winners in Qatar during the winter of 2022.

Despite all of that success, Julian Alvarez remains second choice when it comes to the striking options at Manchester City - and that is not really a surprise given the prolific output provided by lead frontman Erling Haaland. Yet the former River Plate striker has still racked up some pretty impressive statistics for Pep Guardiola’s side, scoring 36 goals and providing 18 assists in 103 appearances in all competitions during his first two seasons at the Etihad Stadium.

His role, perhaps harshly, has largely been as an impact substitute, in a supporting role or a stand-in for Haaland, with just 62 of his 103 appearances coming as a starter in Guardiola’s side. An average of a goal involvement in under every two games remains a very healthy return given the variety of roles Alvarez has played during his time with City and has hinted he could deliver an even more impressive return if he was trusted with a place as a regular starter.

According to Transfermarkt, the Argentina star has played as a secondary striker or number ten on 38 occasions, as a winger on five occasions and as a lead frontman in 45 games. Yet that flexibility could well play into Liverpool’s hands given the fluid approach Slot could well implement at the club. The likes of Salah and Diaz may well be viewed as wingers but both are capable of taking the lead role in attack and the duo could dovetail with Alvarez if Liverpool were to make a move for his services.

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Julian Alvarez has said he is happy at Manchester City despite reports of a summer transfer.Julian Alvarez has said he is happy at Manchester City despite reports of a summer transfer.
Julian Alvarez has said he is happy at Manchester City despite reports of a summer transfer. | Getty Images

There seems like an increasing feeling the 24-year-old may well need to move away from the reigning Premier League champions to really flourish in his own right and Anfield could well provide the stage he requires. There have been suggestions Chelsea are keen to hand him an opportunity to leave City - and Alvarez stopped short of denying he would be keen to depart this summer in a recent interview with ESPN as he prepared for Copa America duty with Argentina.

When asked about the links with the Blues, he said: “These are things that are said, but I am calm; I am comfortable and happy at City; we will see what happens.” Far from a flat denial of being intrigued by a move away and some encouragement for any suitors. Another factor could well be City’s desire not to sell to a direct rivals - but the sales of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal puts paid to that theory. Whether it comes to attacking output, flexibility or a desire to forge his own path without being overshadowed by those around, Alvarez to Liverpool is a move that could benefit both parties and lead them both to further success.

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