Stuart Pearce has backed Liverpool to end their wait for a Premier League title next season, and has named Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as two players who could make a significant impact.
Both England internationals missed large spells of last season through injury, but the former U21s manager believes that they can be difference-makers for Jurgen Klopp’s men next term.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “I’m tipping Liverpool [for the title] this year. I think it’s the holy grail they’re chasing, this Premier League title and I think it will sharpen their focus even more now.
“Gomez is to come back, there’s such high expectation, and Oxlade-Chamberlain as well to join what they’ve got.
“They’ve lost a couple of players, [Alberto] Moreno and [Daniel] Sturridge, but that won’t hurt them at all.”
Jurgen Klopp doesn’t appear to be at all interested in going big in the current transfer window, and while that may not be to the taste of a lot of fans, increasingly you can see his perspective on things. Liverpool already have a ridiculously strong squad, and the fact that they went all season losing just once in the Premier League and still didn’t finish as champions is more a reflection on the strength of Manchester City rather than any weaknesses in their own game. Having missed so much of that campaign, Gomez and the Ox will be like new signings, and both have the quality to make a real difference. Gomez in particular could really flourish this year alongside Virgil van Dijk, and his 2.7 clearances and 1.1 tackles per 90 minutes last term [Whoscored] show that the foundations are already very much in place for him to become a key member of the Reds’ side.