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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, Liverpool are reportedly ahead of the queue to secure his services.

Ait-Nouri was a mainstay for manager Gary O’Neil as Wolves finished comfortably in mid-table last season despite many people tipping 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 disciple of Pep Guardiola. 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 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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