"Thiago would be another step" - Gary Neville believes Reds will struggle to retain title if they don't add more top-class talent to the squad
Liverpool will need a “superhuman effort” to achieve the same performance levels again this season according to Gary Neville.
Former Manchester United defender Neville believes that the achievements of this Jürgen Klopp team over the past three seasons means The Reds must bring in more top-level talent before the transfer window closes to maintain that standard.
In 2017/18, Liverpool reached the Champions League final before losing 3-1 to Real Madrid in Kyiv. The following year, Klopp’s men won Europe’s premier competition, beating Spurs 2-0 in the final in Madrid while also pushing Manchester City to the final day of the season in the Premier League title race. Liverpool finished on 97 points, one behind Pep Guardiola’s side. Last season, Klopp and co finally ended Liverpool’s 30-year-wait for league title number 19, finishing with a club-record 99 points.
Now, in what would be a quest for a fourth consecutive season of ‘raising the bar’, Neville believes Liverpool could struggle if they don’t sign talents such as Thiago Alcântara from FC Bayern.
Speaking about Liverpool’s upcoming season on Sky Sports, Neville said:
“To get to a Champions League final, win it the following season, and then to go again to win the Premier League title is a huge emotional drain on that group of Liverpool players for three years.
“To ask them to go again and achieve that same standard would be a superhuman effort.
“It wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest there will be a slight drop-off if they don’t somehow stimulate that squad by doing something to give them that lift again. Thiago would be the big one. He is world-class and would give them a world-class presence in an area of the field where they don’t have one.
“Liverpool are not perfect. They have a world-class goalkeeper, centre-back and strikers. They have really good midfield players with good work ethic but with Thiago would be another step. He would control the game with that weight of pass, that nous.”
While much of what Neville says rings true, it’s worth remembering this is the man who, back in August 2019, also predicted that Manchester United would probably win the Premier League before Liverpool. That one didn’t work out so well for him.
Like most Liverpool fans, I’m hoping The Reds keep Gini Wijnaldum and add Thiago to the squad. Whether a failure to acquire the Spain international’s signature would mean Liverpool fail to retain the title… well, hopefully, we won’t have to test that theory.
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