Pundits in total agreement that Jurgen Klopp mistake could cost Liverpool dear in PL title race

·3-min read
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool July 2022 Credit: PA Images
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool July 2022 Credit: PA Images

Former England stars Peter Crouch and Rio Ferdinand believe Jurgen Klopp will regret selling Sadio Mane when the dust settles on the Premier League season.  

Mane left the club in the summer after six stellar seasons at Anfield. The 30-year-old scored 90 top-flight goals and 120 in all competitions for the Merseysiders. But he was allowed to leave after making his intentions clear and joined Bayern Munich in a €32m deal this summer.

The Reds have struggled in his absence despite the addition of Darwin Nunez in the recent window. Saturday’s goalless draw with Everton in the Merseyside derby left them down in sixth position in the table.

The north-west giants have taken just nine points and won two games from their first six outings. They are six points adrift of table-topping Arsenal and five behind champions Manchester City.

There is still plenty of time to bridge the gap to the top two. But ex-Liverpool striker Crouch feels the Senegal forward should not have departed.

“So many times Mane has come up trumps in these games where it’s tight, backs against the wall and they’re missing him,” he said on BT Sport. “Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, Nunez will come good I’m sure.”

Liverpool have scored 15 goals so far this term but nine of those came in one game against Bournemouth.

Ferdinand concerned over Mane void

Liverpool have already dropped points against Fulham and Crystal Palace. They are two sides that Klopp would have expected to beat.

A clash with Everton can always throw up unexpected results but the German tactician will have been disappointed with just one point.

They struggled to impose themselves in the final third and Ferdinand agreed with Crouch on the main reason why.

“That’s a great point,” he said. “Those penetrating runs from out to in to support the centre-forward.

“That’s a big threat they aren’t getting as much or the balls not being played or is it they’re not running as much?

“There are a few things to work out but the midfield area is the critical area.”

Liverpool’s next league outing is against Wolves on Saturday. They will be under pressure to deliver the goods in front of what will be an expectant home crowd.

Before then, the Champions League gets under way as Klopp’s charges face Napoli in their Group A opener on Wednesday night.

Souness takes aim at Salah

Liverpool will need their big stars to be at the top of their game. And striker Mohamed Salah is another who has looked below par in the early part of the campaign.

Former Liverpool midfielder and Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness put forward one theory on the Egyptian’s form. And he hopes it might provoke a positive reaction.

“I hope it is not just him sitting in his armchair because he has signed a new contract,” he said. “I am saying that, as a Liverpool supporter, hopefully to make him angry and prove me wrong.”

READ MORE: Arthur Melo: Report reveals he was fourth choice on Jurgen Klopp’s wanted list and Liverpool pushed hard for Chelsea man instead

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