‘Guardiola will spend £100m on a centre-half’ – Liverpool need to be wary of Man City, says Aldridge


The Premier League title is not Liverpool’s yet, says former Reds striker John Aldridge, with Manchester City expected to “spend upwards of £100m on a centre-back” and keep themselves in contention.

Many have been quick to crown an in-form side at Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp seeing his team open up an eight-point lead at the top of the table.

Liverpool have been faultless through eight games in 2019-20 and have stretched a run of successive wins in the English top flight to 17.

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They have left their rivals, including defending champions City, playing catch-up, but there is still a long way to go.

Aldridge says it is important for all of those on Merseyside to remember as much, with it likely that Pep Guardiola will invest again if given the chance to address the injury issues currently hindering his plans.

“With only eight games played this season, it is ridiculous to suggest the title race is anywhere near over, but there is no denying that we are seeing vulnerabilities from Manchester City that were not there last season,” Aldridge told the Irish Independent.

“Their 2-0 home defeat against Wolves on the back of the away loss at Norwich shows that this City team have cracks that are being exposed, with their defensive frailties in evidence yet again.

“John Stones will come back soon, but I don’t see him solving defensive problems that are stemming from the reality that Nicolas Otamendi is not up to the job of holding that back-line together in the absence of the departed Vincent Kompany and the injured Aymeric Laporte.

Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2019-20
Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2019-20

“City manager Pep Guardiola has said he won’t spend any money in the January transfer window, but I fully expect him to spend upwards of £100m on a centre-back as soon as he can because he knows that defence will not be good enough to win the Premier League or Champions League.

“I also feel that Guardiola is more focused on European success than chasing more domestic glory now, with his celebrations as City beat Dinamo Zagreb in unconvincing fashion in the Champions League last week suggesting his sights are targeting Europe  this season.

“He was jumping up and down on the touchline in that Champions League clash and has been urging City fans to create the kind of atmosphere in home matches that drove Liverpool to European glory last season, but that just won’t happen.

“Anfield on European nights is a unique experience and, try as they might, City fans will never be able to repeat it at their Etihad Stadium, so they face a tough challenge. They will need to keep buying their way to success if they are to conquer Europe.

“There are still 30 games to play in this Premier League season, so ignore anyone who tells you this title race is finished.”

Liverpool will return to domestic action after the international break with a trip to arch-rivals Manchester United on October 20, while City are due to visit Crystal Palace a day earlier.

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