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Is Rayan Ait-Nouri the perfect tactical signing for Liverpool & Arne Slot?

Liverpool are leading the race to sign Wolverhampton Wanderers left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri this summer, according to reports from Algeria.

The 23-year-old is being linked with a move away from the Molineux after a stellar season. Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City are in the race for his signature.

However, the report claims Liverpool are ahead of the queue to secure his services for next season.

Ait-Nouri was a mainstay for manager Gary O’Neil as Wolves finished comfortably in mid-table last season despite many expecting them to struggle.

The Algerian international notched two goals and one assist in 34 Premier League appearances, winning 55% of his duels.

With Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson battling injuries last season and entering the twilight of his career, the need for a new left-back is clear, but how does the Wolves defender fit in tactically?

Giving Arne Slot something different

New Liverpool boss Arne Slot is a modern manager and a Pep Guardiola disciple. At Feyenoord, he adapted his team to the opposition, sometimes using his full-backs in an inverted midfield role.

The Dutchman would invert Quilindschy Hartman or Lutsharel Geertruida to provide more options in the build-up phase and protection for the backline.

Former Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp also experimented with the idea, chucking Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield to help build up play and control transitions better.

It is not a role we saw Andy Robertson play. The Scotland international is a forward-thinking buccaneering full-back.

However, Ait-Nouri would be the perfect fit to play this inverted role for Slot. The France-born defender is a specialist at tucking into midfield to help his club build out from the back.

The former Angers man is a terrific passer of the ball and uses his superb dribbling ability to escape pressure.

These tools can be useful for Slot, who might be looking at a player with different characteristics from Robertson.

Ait-Nouri might not be a direct like-for-like replacement for the ever-attacking Robertson, but his skillset offers a different dimension to Liverpool’s play under Slot.

His ability to seamlessly transition from defence to midfield and contribute to build-up play aligns perfectly with Slot’s tactical philosophy.

With his attacking threat and defensive solidity, Ait-Nouri could be the missing piece in Slot’s tactical puzzle at Liverpool, providing much-needed cover and competition for the ageing Robertson.

However, Liverpool will face stiff competition from Chelsea and City, and securing his signature will likely come at a premium.

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