Liverpool FC’s battling win over AC Milan in the Champions League proved their undoubted quality – but Michael Owen insists there are seven soon-to-be-pressing transfer issues boss Jurgen Klopp must soon address.
The Reds’ excellent start to the season continued on Wednesday night. Klopp’s side have started the Premier League season with three wins and a draw after comfortably despatching of Leeds on Sunday. And they underlined their qualities in the Champions League on Wednesday night with a stirring, come-from-behind 3-2 win over AC Milan at Anfield.
Despite the positive vibes around Anfield, BT Sport pundit Owen insists it’s not all a bed of roses at Anfield.
The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and Fabinho all agreed extended deals this summer.
However, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all face a period of uncertainty. With deals that expire in 2023, and at 29-year-old apiece, time does not appear on their side.
And Owen reckons some or even all of the trio may need replacing.
“I think Liverpool are going to address it,” he said on BT Sport.
“What I think the big concern is [that] everyone is going to be old at the same time, in three or four years. Look at the front three: Firmino, Salah and Mane – all late 20s.
“Another three or four years you’re not going to replace one, it all of a sudden goes bump and you’ve got to replace two of them.
“I think that’s the general around the team – the Matips, the Van Dijks – they’re all late 20s now.
“You’ve got your Henderson and Milners, but that’s fine. That’s experience… but when there’s a glut – that will happen – in four, five years that’s something that Jurgen Klopp has to address next year.”
Klopp never doubted Liverpool comeback qualities
Indeed, with Owen suggesting all seven will need replacements bringing in, it does not halt the immediate feel-good vibe around Anfield.
Despite dominating, Liverpool found themselves trailing 2-1 at the break.
Klopp said: “We started incredibly well. We played a super, super game. An intense game but football wise as well.
“We played in all the spaces we had to play and didn’t give them anything until… I’m not sure exactly, we got punished for it in the last few minutes of the first half but it started earlier. We got carried away by our own football. We didn’t keep it simple anymore, offensively and defensively we were not organised anymore.
“When we are organised, Fabinho is incredible and he can pick up all the challenges we need him for. When the spaces are too big even he cannot solve it anymore.
“They played in between and scored two goals. But it did not feel like we cannot come back. It was clear that we had to immediately get back to how we started and then we scored wonderful goals, to be honest. Both were incredible.
“It is the football I want to see in most moments. We are experienced in the competition, or should be. The guys who came on did incredibly well.”