John Toshack expects Liverpool to mount a genuine title challenge next season as Jurgen Klopp adapts further to the Premier League.
Liverpool were Chelsea’s closest challengers on New Year’s Eve before a five-game winless run ruined their title hopes.
Klopp’s side have recovered in recent weeks – taking 10 points from the last 12 on offer – to boost their hopes of Champions League football next season.
And former Liverpool striker Toshack, who won three league winners’ medals in his time on Merseyside, believes they can push on and compete for a first domestic title since 1990.
“I’d like to think that next year they will have a good run at it,” said Toshack, who was at Anfield recently for the ‘legends’ charity match between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
“Klopp will have been there a couple of years then, and he will obviously know the Premier League a lot better.
“It’s difficult for Liverpool because of the amount of money Manchester City and Manchester United are putting in, and you’ve also got Chelsea with their resurgence this season.
“But the ground capacity is back up to 54,000, which financially will make a difference to them.
“That should help them out (in buying players) and next season will be a big one for Klopp.
“Speaking to people up there they are pretty happy with the way things are moving.
“But they will be looking for some sort of reward next season.”
Spain-based Toshack has been back in his native south Wales this week and saw another of his former clubs, Swansea, draw 0-0 with relegation rivals Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Swansea are currently one place and one point above the relegation zone, but the 68-year-old feels Paul Clement’s side will escape the drop.
“I think it will go right to the wire,” Toshack said as he formally opened Swansea’s new training ground.
“There’s always one club a little bit higher than Swansea are at the moment who look over their shoulder.
“Usually one of the teams which look comfortable drops into it in the last fortnight or so.
“They think they’re safe, but then all of a sudden a couple of bad results come and they find with a few games to go they’re in trouble.
“Swansea’s next game against Tottenham is a difficult one – they’re the form team – and then they’ve got a couple of away games at West Ham and Watford where they need to pick something up.
“It will be tight but I think they’ll do enough to stay up – just.”