Who is Arne Slot? The Feyenoord manager dominating Eredivisie and wanted by Pemier League clubs

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The next Ten Hag? 

A quick glance at the Eredivisie league table should offer something of a surprise to football fans that don’t often frequent Dutch football. Sitting top and a fair distance ahead of the usual contenders Ajax and PSV are none other than Feyenoord, as they race towards only their second league title in over 20 years. And at the heart of that success is an extremely talented young manager by the name of Arne Slot. 

Now in only his fourth season as a senior head coach, 44-year-old Slot has taken football in the Netherlands by storm and has quickly established himself as one of the most promising coaches in all of European football. But who is this young Feyenoord boss and how has he managed to guide a club that hasn’t won an Eredivisie title since 2017? Let’s find out. 

How good has Arne Slot been in the Eredivisie? 

Following youth and first team coaching roles at PEC Zwolle and Cambuur, Slot was hired by AZ Alkmaar as the club’s assistant coach in 2017 and then went on to step up to the main job in 2019. And in no time at all, the Bergentheim-born tactician got to work on turning the Dutch club around. After finishing fourth the previous year, Slot took the club to second place, missing out on the top spot by little more than goal difference in a campaign that was cut short due to the COVID pandemic. And before long Feyenoord had come calling for the young manager.

Tasked with replacing Dick Advocaat and building a squad that could improve on being the best of the rest in Dutch football, Slot hit the ground running immediately and guided Feyenoord to a third-place finish in his first season and has now gone one step further by taking the team to the pinnacle of Dutch football in only his second league campaign at the club. “Arne Slot embodies the new generation of Dutch managers,” notes Kevin Lux, Transfermarkt’s content manager in the Netherlands. “Together with Erik ten Hag, he has shown to be able to transform underdogs into contenders, both at AZ and now Feyenoord. He knows how to give his teams a tactical advantage and players he works with show incredible improvement.”

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Arne Slot


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Indeed, not only has Slot improved Feyenoord in their own right but he’s also helped the club overtake larger domestic rivals like PSV and Ajax. And Lux believes that’s in no small part due to Slot’s impressive coaching. “Feyenoord looked like a team, right from the start, while Ajax and PSV are still struggling to find a good form,” notes Lux. “I won’t go as far to call Feyenoord the surprise of the season (Sparta are also playing way above their level), but almost nobody expected them to be this far ahead and on track to become champions, which hasn’t happened since Gio Van Bronkhorst brought the championship to Rotterdam in 2017.”

What kind of football do Arne Slot’s teams play? 

There’s little doubt that Slot’s success in Dutch football is clear for all to see on paper, but what kind of football do his teams actually play? “One of the key components is that all of his teams are extremely fit,” says Lux, when asked about the Slot style of football. “Slot lets his team play in an organised, attacking way. There is a lot of movement on the midfield and on the wings, which makes it hard to defend. The key component is, however, their level of fitness.” 

Market value leader Timber drops: The most valuable Eredivisie players

19 Vangelis Pavlidis | AZ Alkmaar | €12m

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Last updated: 17. March 2023

19 Davy Klaassen | Ajax | €12m

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19 Walter Benitez | PSV | €12m

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16 Fábio Silva | PSV | €13m

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16 Justin Bijlow | Feyenoord | €13m

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16 Brian Brobbey | Ajax | €13m

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12 Joey Veerman | PSV | €14m

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12 Sebastian Szymanski | Feyenoord | €14m

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12 Steven Berghuis | Ajax | €14m

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12 Kenneth Taylor | Ajax | €14m

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11 Jesper Karlsson | AZ Alkmaar | €16m

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9 Lutsharel Geertruida | Feyenoord | €18m

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9 Calvin Bassey | Ajax | €18m

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8 David Hancko | Feyenoord | €20m

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7 Steven Bergwijn | Ajax | €27m

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4 Xavi Simons | PSV | €18m

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4 Orkun Kökcü | Feyenoord | €27m

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4 Mohammed Kudus | Ajax | €30m

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2 Edson Alvarez | Ajax | €35m

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2 Ibrahim Sangaré | PSV | €35m

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1 Jurriën Timber | Ajax | €42m

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And this can be clearly seen from Feyenoord’s stats in the league this season. Improved fitness means Slot’s team are far more focussed late on in games, which is perhaps best exemplified by the fact that no club has dropped fewer points from winning positions than the Rotterdam club this season. In comparison, Feyenoord have dropped nine points after taking the lead so far this season, while Ajax have dropped 14 points. Which goes some way to explaining the gap between the two clubs in the league table.

What clubs want to hire Arne Slot next season? 

To no great surprise, Slot’s success in the Netherlands has won him plenty of fans in English football, which rarely misses an opportunity to pluck the best players and coaches from the Eredivisie. And in Slot’s case, he seems to have a number of top Premier League clubs fighting for his signature ahead of the summer window. 

According to reports in England and the Netherlands, Slot is being pursued by no less than three Premier League clubs at the moment: Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham and Leeds United, And according to Voetbal Zone reporter, Wilfred Genee, Slot is already contemplating a move away from Feyenoord. “I heard from people last week that he will not stay anyway,” said Genee. “He does not want to run the risk that things can go very badly in the Champions League and that he will no longer be in the picture with the big clubs. He wants to go as soon as possible be financially independent, which is easier at a big club.” 



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