Why Arne Slot may not have full Liverpool staff for day 1 of pre-season

Arne Slot will oversee his first pre-season as Liverpool manager this summer, but the Dutchman may do so without assistant Sipke Hulshoff until late into July.

The next pre-season will be much different for Liverpool, with preparations for the past eight campaigns run by Jurgen Klopp and his staff.

With Klopp departing and Slot poised to take over in the role of head coach, the summer could take a new complexion, most notably as players adjust to the Dutchman’s training methods.

However, Slot’s assistant manager, 49-year-old compatriot Hulshoff, may be absent from the start of pre-season due to commitments at Euro 2024.

A deal was brokered with Feyenoord for Hulshoff, head of performance Ruben Peeters and technical advisor Etienne Reijnen to follow Slot to Anfield as a new backroom forms.

Cody Gakpo of Holland, Virgil van Dijk of Holland celebrate the 1-0 during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 group A match between the Netherlands and Qatar at Al Bayt Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. ANP MAURICE VAN STONE Credit: ANP/Alamy Live News

But Hulshoff currently couples his role at Feyenoord with a similar position with the Netherlands national team, where he serves as No. 2 to Ronald Koeman.

He was appointed at the start of 2023 and caught the eye of Virgil van Dijk during their first training camp together.

As it stands, there are no reports that his status will change ahead of the Euros, which will be held in Germany between June 14 and July 14.

That could mean that Slot begins life in charge of Liverpool without his closest ally – who, it should be stressed, is credited with running the majority of training sessions similar to Pepijn Lijnders under Klopp.

Liverpool’s first friendly of pre-season is currently scheduled for July 26, when they will face Real Betis on the first leg of their US tour.

Therefore, Hulshoff’s time at the Euros would not clash with that trip to Pittsburgh, but it would undoubtedly impact crucial early preparations.

At this stage, there is a chance that Liverpool refuse their incoming assistant from holding two jobs, meaning Hulshoff would be required to exit his role with the Netherlands.

But the working theory is that Slot will make do without Hulshoff in the early weeks of pre-season before reuniting on Merseyside in mid-July.