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Five Feyenoord players who could follow Arne Slot to Liverpool

:Headline: Five Feyenoord players who could follow Arne Slot to Liverpool:
Following the news that Arne Slot is the new frontrunners for the Liverpool job, Sports Mole looks at five Feyenoord players who could also follow him to Anfield.
Sports Mole

Yet another twist to the Liverpool managerial tale has arisen this week, and the Reds are now understood to have earmarked another revered coach as the top alternative to their previous top alternative.

For weeks, the red carpet has been ready and waiting for the arrival of Sporting Lisbon's Ruben Amorim, considered the frontrunner to replace the distinguished Jurgen Klopp after Xabi Alonso stayed loyal to Bayer Leverkusen.

However, reports have now stated that the Portuguese is now unlikely to take the Anfield reins after holding talks with West Ham United; a move to the London Stadium is not expected to materialise either, but Liverpool appear to have moved on regardless.

Indeed, the Reds are believed to have entered negotiations for 45-year-old Feyenoord manager Arne Slot, previously linked with Tottenham Hotspur last summer on the back of leading the Rotterdam giants to just their second Eredivisie crown of the millennium.

Slot ultimately snubbed interest from the Lilywhites to sign a new three-year deal with Feyenoord, who would be due hefty compensation from Liverpool, but initial contacts are believed to have been positive.

As talks rumble on in the background, Sports Mole picks out five highly-rated Feyenoord players who could potentially follow Slot to Liverpool.

Santiago Gimenez

A new centre-forward may be right at the bottom of Liverpool's transfer agenda, but with Darwin Nunez possessing the worst big-chance conversion rate in Europe, Cody Gakpo struggling for consistency and Diogo Jota riddled by injuries, the Reds could do worse than run the rule over Santiago Gimenez.

The 23-year-old Mexico international was a £5.2m acquisition from Cruz Azul in 2022 and took little time to acclimatise to European football, setting a new record for Eredivisie goals in a calendar year with a staggering 31 in 2023.

Gimenez has 21 top-flight strikes to his name this year - in addition to five assists - putting him third in the Golden Boot race behind 26-goal pair Luuk de Jong and Vangelis Pavlidis, in addition to netting twice in a Champions League triumph over Lazio last year.

Just shy of 6ft tall, Gimenez does not have the profile of an all-round striker who can create and link up in the same manner as Harry Kane for example, but he finds the target with 50% of his shots - according to data from FBref - and succeeds with over half of his take-on attempts.

The Mexican's standout debut season in Dutch football saw him rewarded with a new long-running contract until 2027 last year, but Feyenoord are braced for summer bids for the Argentina-born attacker, believed to be a prominent name on Arsenal's radar.

However, a report from 90min claims that interested parties could be quoted a record-breaking Eredivisie sum to sign Gimenez this summer, surpassing the £85m package that Manchester United forked out to sign Antony from Ajax; whether Slot could perform some arm-twisting to drive the price down remains to be seen.

David Hancko

Instead of bolstering their already well-stocked frontline, beefing up the heart of the backline is thought to be Liverpool's top transfer goal this summer, as all of Joel Matip, Rhys Williams, Nat Phillips and Sepp van den Berg could be on the way out.

The Reds' search for a new defensive enforcer could point them in the direction of David Hancko, the 26-year-old Slovakia international who enjoyed stints with Fiorentina and Sparta Prague before arriving in the Netherlands in 2022 for a mere £7.1m.

As is the case with Gimenez, Hancko's stock has risen exponentially since his capture, and having already proven himself as a major goal threat with Sparta Prague - whom he averaged almost one goal every five games for - the centre-back has enhanced that reputation in the Netherlands.

From 89 games in a Feyenoord jersey, Hancko has come up with 10 goals and eight assists - netting four times in the current Eredivisie campaign - while he also boasts four goals and five assists in 37 matches for his country.

Hancko was a mainstay of the Slovakia XI during their successful qualification campaign for Euro 2024, although he largely features as a left-back for his nation, a position which he is expected to occupy at the continental gathering this summer.

The 26-year-old has earned his Eredivisie stars in the heart of defence, meanwhile, but his versatility, attacking qualities and 6ft 2in frame would make him a fascinating option. Hancko's agent recently confirmed that Liverpool are looking at his client, who is likely to head elsewhere this summer, but the Reds will have to fend off Paris Saint-Germain to bring him to Anfield.

Quilindschy Hartman

While Hancko marshals the middle of the Feyenoord backline, 22-year-old Netherlands international Quilindschy Hartman acts as the Rotterdam outfit's marauding left-back and has quickly risen to prominence on both the domestic and international scene.

A product of the Feyenoord youth academy since 2010, Hartman boasts seven assists from 38 games in all tournaments this season and also made a strong impression during his Netherlands baptism last year, scoring on his debut in a 2-1 loss to France.

The full-back then registered an assist in a 6-0 crushing of Gibraltar and was threatening to become Oranje's first-choice left-back for the Euros, but during an Eredivisie clash with Utrecht on March 31, he sustained a devastating cruciate ligament injury.

Hartman's issue has dashed his dreams of representing his nation in Germany this summer, and the defender would also be expected to miss the first half of the 2024-25 season, thus making him one of the unlikelier summer transfers.

However, the 22-year-old has already made a name for himself as a terrific chance-creator and line-breaker - he averaged 6.36 progressive passes per game before his injury - and across Europe's big five leagues, he is in the top 1% of defenders for shot-creating actions from open play, with three per 90 on average.

Unless Liverpool surprisingly decide to move for him this summer and aid him in his rehabilitation, Hartman could be one to watch for 2025 instead, especially with Andy Robertson now in his 30s and Kostas Tsimikas failing to impress when called upon this season.

Mats Wieffer

The overdue midfield rebuild was ostensibly complete last summer, but Liverpool are still believed to be open to the right opportunity in the engine room, especially with Thiago Alcantara out of contract this summer and likely to move on.

Current number six Wataru Endo will not be around forever either, and with Alexis Mac Allister preferring the freedom of a more advanced midfield role, Liverpool ought to take a look at Feyenoord's midfield maestro Mats Wieffer.

The 6ft 2in Netherlands international has garnered a reputation as a Rolls-Royce of a midfielder under Slot's wing, having a direct hand in 10 goals this season - six of his own and four assists - while also mopping up at the base of the midfield.

Wieffer averages 1.73 interceptions per game and 1.59 blocked passes per game, and a striking 8.10 ball recoveries per 90 also puts him in the top 2% of midfielders in Europe's big five leagues over the past 365 days.

The 24-year-old has a penchant for driving runs through the middle too, and he has succeeded with 81.3% of his take-ons over the past year, making it easy to see why Barcelona have supposedly taken a liking to him.

Quinten Timber

The twin brother of Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber - who recently marked his comeback from an ACL injury with a stunning goal for the Gunners' Under-21s - Liverpool fans should welcome Quinten Timber to Anfield with open arms if he shares his sibling's eye for goal.

Statistics from the current campaign show that the 22-year-old certainly does, as he has struck eight of his own while laying on nine assists in 42 matches from the middle of the park, including goals in three Eredivisie games in a row back in November.

A former Ajax youth product who spent one year at Utrecht before a 2022 transfer to Feyenoord - who again only paid a modest fee of £6.4m - Timber's excellent 2023-24 campaign saw Ronald Koeman reward him with his Netherlands debut in their friendly loss to Germany last month.

A strong ball carrier who frequently draws fouls thanks to his on-ball abilities, Timber is only under contract with Feyenoord for another two seasons, and scouts from across Europe have been keeping tabs on his displays this season.

Liverpool are rumoured to be one of the sides doing their due diligence, but a plethora of top continental clubs - including Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid - could also enter a heated race for his services, especially if he earns a spot on the Dutch plane for Euro 2024 and enjoys a breakthrough tournament.

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