Premier League: How the title race has unfolded so far
Liverpool legend Steve McManaman believes Jurgen Klopp’s side will “run away” with the Premier League title if they sign two new defenders in the January transfer window. Liverpool are currently top of the table but just three points separates the top four ahead of the Reds’ clash with Newcastle United.
The Reds are experiencing some injury problems in defence, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees and Joel Matip a recurring fitness worry.
The likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have all been tipped to run Liverpool close this season but McManaman believes that with a few additions, Liverpool can comfortably retain the league title.
Asked whether he thought the title race would be close, McManaman told Amazon Prime: “I think it depends what kind of financial power other teams have got.
“If Liverpool go in and buy two central defenders I think they would run away with it.
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“If they don’t it could be nip and tuck, it could be a lot closer.
“You’d expect teams to improve and put runs together.
“I’d love Liverpool to strengthen well, get Thiago back, and suddenly they’d get some real good form and run clear.
“We know Liverpool have got defensive problems, we know that Joel Matip looks like his injury will keep him out for a certain period of time.
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“There’s talk that they will not go into the transfer market. Liverpool fans are desperate for Jurgen Klopp to go into the transfer market.
“They need to bring a defender in if they’re going to sustain their challenge and reach a level of consistency to pull away from these sides.
Asked specifically about United’s chances in the title race, McManaman added: “The fact that Manchester United are there, 15 or 16 games into it, sitting second… of course they’re in it.”
However, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to be drawn into any talk about a title challenge after their 1-0 win against Wolves.
“There’s no title race after 15 games, you can lose the chance of being in a race in the first 10 games, of course you can, but play another 15, get to 30, and maybe we can start talking about a title race,” he said.
“We go back to Bruno’s debut against Wolves [in February] and we are a different outfit now, better mentally and physically.
“Physically and mentally, that belief has come through performances and results, and players that we have on the pitch that can change games in a second.
“You get that by personalities, by recruitment, added spark and when you get results, things are going your way that helps.”
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