Steve McManaman insists Liverpool didn’t sign any big names in the summer transfer window at the express wish of manager Jurgen Klopp.
Speaking exclusively to TEAMtalk at a BT Sport event, former Liverpool winger McManaman insisted Klopp and made the right call by not replacing the departed Gini Wijnaldum. Furthermore, he reckons the Reds have the back-up in place in his squad to fill that void and mount a title challenge.
So despite the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Rapahel Varane at Manchester United and Chelsea’s capture of striker Romelu Lukaku, McManaman believes Liverpool and champions Manchester City remain a class apart in the Premier League.
Liverpool turned in an impressive performance as they beat Leeds 3-0 at Elland Road on Sunday. Our player ratings marvelled over three Reds stars for their displays in West Yorkshire.
Indeed, McManaman remains convinced they will go close to winning the Premier League title this season if they avoid injuries to key players.
“I just don’t agree that Liverpool needed to sign big name players this summer. That’s because they have a team in place to win the league,” declared McManaman, who played 364 times for Liverpool between 1990 and 1999.
“I think last year you can put your excuses as to why they struggled and finished third. They were top at Christmas and you can look at why it happened and I can cross a line through it.
“Go back to the year before that and then the year before that and I still think that Liverpool and Manchester City have set the bar and it’s up to everyone else to try and match them.
“Who would they buy? And where would he play? I don’t know.
“I hear we need to replace Gini Wijnaldum, but what about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, what about Naby Keita, Curtis Jones! What about Harvey Elliott, Thiago, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson… I’ve named seven. Why do you need to replace Gini Wijnaldum when you have seven players in midfield? [Note ~ McManaman was speaking prior to Elliott’s unfortunate injury sustained at Elland Road].
“Then they say buy another forward, but to play where? We’ve got four and you can only fit three in, so do you sign someone and sit him on the bench? I don’t see it.”
Big-name signings would cause Liverpool issues
McManaman believes the signings of big name stars can create as many problems as they solve, as he suggests Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino might have some problems keeping all his stars happy after the arrival of Lionel Messi in the French capital.
“It’s great to have 30 internationals, it’s great to be PSG, but you don’t want the drama of keeping them all happy and where you are going to play them,” he added.
“Liverpool’s form of two years ago was excellent when they got 97 points and then 99 points, that’s the form they can produce and the target others have to get to.
“If everyone is fit and well and if no club is decimated with injuries like Liverpool were last season, for me the Liverpool and Man City set the bar.”
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