Liverpool to be City’s nearest rivals as Arsenal snubbed after transfer failure
Liverpool are the club most likely to challenge Manchester City this season after Al-Ittihad failed to complete a deal for Mohamed Salah, according to former Reds winger Jermaine Pennant. The pundit believes Jurgen Klopp’s side are better than another of his old clubs, Arsenal.
After a disappointing 2022/23 campaign, Liverpool have started this season strongly. After a draw at Chelsea on the opening day, the Merseysiders won three successive matches to leave them third in the table ahead of the international break.
Klopp made four acquisitions during the summer transfer window, overhauling his entire midfield. Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have already fitted in well, while the deadline-day arrival of Ryan Gravenberch is another exciting option in the middle of the park.
Liverpool chiefs have had to be strong in the last couple of weeks following mega offers from Saudi club Al-Ittihad for star forward Salah. The Saudi window finally closed on Thursday and Salah will stay at Anfield until January at least.
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Pennant believes Salah staying will play a massive part in what Liverpool can achieve this season. He says the early signs are that Liverpool look better than Arsenal despite being on the same number of points as the Gunners.
Manchester City are aiming to win their fourth successive Premier League title. But Pennant reckons Liverpool are best-equipped to stop Pep Guardiola’s side in their tracks now that Salah won’t be going anywhere.
He said on talkSPORT: “Minimum [expectation] is top four. The way we have started so far is ten times better than how Liverpool started last season. They look solid. Little bit worried about the defence but going forward, they look strong.
“The midfield is a really good midfield now. Young, energetic, Szoboszlai looks very good.
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“Keeping Mo is not only going to be good for Liverpool but good for everything to do with Liverpool. The players will see Mo there, they know what he will give you.
“Goals, assists… and with him staying there, they should now be looking to challenge Manchester City like they have for the last five years, bar last season.
“At the moment, I’d say Liverpool are in a better place than Arsenal. I’ll say in the games so far, they have played a lot better than Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is still tweaking… he is trying to fit people into the team.
“Write Manchester United off, because they are all over the shop. I think if Liverpool played Arsenal, Liverpool are the better team and would be favourites going into that game.”
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