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no deals Steve McManaman with an alternative view on Liverpool's lack of big-money signings


Steve McManaman - Tottenham Hotpur v Arsenal (07-02-2015)

Steve McManaman - Tottenham Hotpur v Arsenal (07-02-2015)

Steve McManaman - Tottenham Hotpur v Arsenal (07-02-2015)

STEVE McManaman believes Liverpool were right to step back from making major signings this summer, as he believes Jurgen Klopp already has a team capable of winning the game's biggest prizes.

Liverpool's Premier League rivals caused a transfer earthquake as Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, Chelsea spent big to capture Romelu Lukaku and Man City splashed £100 million to snare Jack Grealish.

Meanwhile, Liverpool's only big signing was the £34 million capture of defender Ibrahima Konate, as they focused their transfer business on tying down star names to new contracts.

Yet former Liverpool winger McManaman has told the Sunday World that Klopp didn't need to find solutions to problems that don't exist within his squad, as he insisted Liverpool and Manchester City are still the teams to beat this season.

"I just don't agree with the theory that Liverpool needed to sign big-name players this summer because the fact suggests they have a team in place capable of winning the league," declared McManaman (right), speaking to us at a BT Sport event.

"I think last year you can put your excuses as to why they had a bad run of results and finished third.

"They were top at Christmas and then all the injuries got to them and any club in the world would have struggled without their three main centre-backs for most of the season.

"You can look at why it happened and I can cross a line through it and I'm confident they will be serious contenders for all the big trophies this season.

"Go back to the year before that and then the year before that and I still think Liverpool and Manchester City have set the bar and it's up to everyone else to try and match them.

"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."


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. REUTERS/Peter Powell

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. REUTERS/Peter Powell

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. REUTERS/Peter Powell

Liverpool's failure to sign a midfielder to replace the departed Georginio Wijnaldum was a major talking point throughout the summer transfer window, with Klopp insisting he didn't need any re-enforcements in that area of his squad.

The long-term ankle injury suffered to Harvey Elliott at Leeds last Sunday is of course a blow to Klopp's options, yet the list of midfielders at his disposal remains healthy and McManaman suggests the arrival of star names is not always the quickest route to success.

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"Fans want their clubs to sign big names, but look at the Liverpool squad now and tell me who they could buy that makes them better? I don't see anyone out there," said the winger who played 364 times for Liverpool between 1990 and 1999.

"I hear they need to replace Gini Wijnaldum, but what about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, what about Naby Keita, Curtis Jones.

"What about Harvey Elliot, Thiago, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson... I've named seven. Why do you need to replace Gini Wijnaldum when you have seven players in midfield?

"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.

"I look at Paris Saint-Germain and the bookies have them as the favourites to win the Champions League after they sign Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and a few more big names, but I wouldn't be putting any of my money on them.

"The English teams are all stronger than them in my opinion and Bayern Munich might be as well.

"Listen, PSG have an amazing set of players and the signings they made during the summer were incredible, but their manager, Mauricio Pochettino will have a hell of a job fitting them all into a successful unit.

"Will they self-destruct like they normally do. Will Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Messi all play? Will it click?

"It might just happen and if it does, they could be amazing as an attacking team, but Poch has got a really hard job keeping them all happy.

"Mbappe's future is under a cloud after he tried to move to Real Madrid and there are too many question marks over how they blend as a team and I wouldn't put any of my money on them winning the Champions League.

"The English teams are the ones to beat for me and it wouldn't surprise me to see three of them in the semi-finals if they don't knock each other out before then."


Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after last Sunday's win over West Ham

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after last Sunday's win over West Ham

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after last Sunday's win over West Ham

The wildcard thrown into this European football season has to be Ronaldo's return to Manchester United.

Ahead of his second Premier League appearance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side at West Ham today, McManaman suggests a harsh reality might bite when the fanfare around his return to Old Trafford dilutes.

"Ronaldo coming back, the glamour of it all, is great for the Premier League, but we have to wait and see if it works for him at United at the age of 36," added McManaman.

"We will have to see how he sets up and how he fits into the style of play, whether he gets in the way of anyone else at United. We are waiting to see how it will all pan out.

"They will probably have to change the way they play slightly. He might stifle Mason Greenwood or Marcus Rashford, but it's great that he is back in England and everyone is excited to see what happens.

"Of all the signings United made, Raphael Varane is the one who will improve their starting eleven and there's no doubt that Chelsea have improved by adding Lukaku because they needed a proven centre-forward.

"But for me, Liverpool and Manchester City have sets of players that have proved that they can go the distance in the Premier League title race. This United squad hasn't done that yet."

McManaman is convinced that the four best teams in European football are all operating in England's Premier League this season, which should ensure that this season's title race is one of the most epic showdowns of modern times.

BT Sport is the home of UEFA Champions League football. Sky customers can watch every game of the 2021/22 competition live with a Sports Extra package.

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