Merson cites Liverpool transfer regret after making Chelsea title claim

Date published: Saturday 12th September 2020 9:13 - Samuel Bannister

Paul Merson TEAMtalk

Paul Merson has warned Chelsea the pressure is on them after claiming he wouldn’t be surprised to see them finish above Liverpool this season.

Liverpool won the Premier League title by a huge margin of 18 points last season. They finished a massive 33 points ahead of fourth-placed Chelsea.

However, the Blues have been far busier in the transfer market, beating Liverpool to the signing of strike target Timo Werner.

Chelsea have also added Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell, taking their summer spending into the region of £200m.

And despite the distance between the two sides last season, Merson thinks Chelsea can pose a major threat to Liverpool this season.

“They have done some great business and if they finish above Liverpool, I wouldn’t be shocked,” he told the Daily Star.

“Chelsea have the firepower to challenge. They will score goals, and Thiago Silva will make them stronger at the back.

“People say trying to make up the 33-point gap from last season is too much. Forget about that. It’s a new season. It doesn’t work like that.

“Look at Leicester. Where did they finish the year before they won the title?

“The worry for Chelsea is keeping all their players happy with all those new signings. Who’s going to play? The pressure’s on Frank Lampard now.

“Did anybody else really want the job when he got it? They had just sold Eden Hazard. Couldn’t buy players. Now, he’s got to produce.”


Merson worried about lack of Liverpool depth


Elaborating further on his worries for champions Liverpool, Merson explained that they should have strengthened their squad in the transfer market.

Left-back Kostas Tsimikas has been the only major arrival at Anfield during the window – and Merson thinks they could regret not making more signings.

“Liverpool were my favourites for the title this season but their lack of signings means they could end up as also-rans,” he said.

“Players will get injured this season. It’s inevitable. This season more than any other. No-one’s had a proper break or a proper pre-season.

“And if Liverpool lose Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold on Virgil Van Dijk, they are seriously weakened. It’s the same with the front three. At City, and now Chelsea as well, the front players are pretty interchangeable.

“Not at Liverpool. They should have bought a forward. I think missing out on Timo Werner to Chelsea was big.

“Take one of Liverpool’s front three out and suddenly they are playing for the top four, never mind the league title.

“Liverpool should be signing players. But I still think there’s a lot of work to be done just keeping their own players where they are. They certainly shouldn’t be selling Georgino Wijnaldum in my opinion.

“Liverpool have a great first XI. They have the players. They have the talent. The problem is, is that hunger still there?

“You have to remember it’s so hard to win back-to-back titles. How many times have City done it?

“It’s even harder to do it without making any big signings.”


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