Mikel Arteta has made admission on “exceptional” Arne Slot – “I don’t know”

With Arne Slot the new head coach at Liverpool, he gives opposition managers a new set of challenges, and Arsenal‘s Mikel Arteta has conceded he “doesn’t know” how Slot will change things.

Slot is beginning his work with Liverpool to prepare the players for a season in which the Reds will be expected to finish in the top three.

Where in that top three is up for debate, as Pep Guardiola’s Man City will no doubt be strong again, and Arsenal ought to push on further from their close title run.

Ahead of their pre-season meeting later this month, Arteta was asked by ESPN how Slot will change things at Liverpool, to which the Spaniard replied: “I don’t know.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 23, 2023: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“That’s a question for him and the people that have decided to come here, welcome to the Premier League. I think he is an exceptional coach.”

Slot arrives with a good reputation but as an untested coach in the Premier League having spent his coaching career in his native Netherlands prior to his Anfield arrival.

Arteta’s rise as a manager was very different, first acting as a coach under Guardiola at Man City before getting the Arsenal job in 2019.

The 42-year-old spent over 11 years as a Premier League player for Everton and Arsenal, before transitioning into a coaching career, whereas Slot played his full career in the Netherlands.

This, of course, doesn’t mean Slot can’t succeed as a great manager – his predecessor, Jurgen Klopp, never played at a level above the German second division.

That didn’t stop him from becoming one of Liverpool’s greatest-ever managers, who was well respected by his peers.

Arteta added: “Obviously, it is a bit sad to see Jurgen leave because what he has brought to the league, I think, is something unprecedented with his charisma, his way of playing and the moments he has created in this league.”

Slot himself has his own sort of charisma but doesn’t yet possess the aura that belonged to Klopp, and he may never.

The Dutchman isn’t trying to be a Klopp tribute act, though. He has to be his own man as Bob Paisley was after Bill Shankly, and ensure performances on the pitch show steady progress in his first year.

If the results are good, the rest will follow.