Liverpool fans do not always find common ground and agreement with Gary Neville, but the former Manchester United defender’s stance on the club is likely to be echoed by many Reds fans.
It was a summer transfer window of frustration for supporters with central defender Ibrahima Konate – whose signing was confirmed in May – the only addition to Athletic Bilbao, Freiburg, Lorient and Saint-Etienne.
Jurgen Klopp will no doubt have been frustrated by the lack of incomings, especially in the light of Georginio Wijnaldum departing Anfield following the expiration of his contract and has not been replaced.
While Liverpool are still in the leading group of Premier League clubs, their relative prudence in the transfer market can be contrasted to the big spending of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
As outlined by the Liverpool Echo, the Reds are actually set to have made a £5.5million profit in the transfer window – with the club’s effort instead focused on renewing the contracts of first-team players.
Neville believes that Liverpool remain strong contenders this season but that standards have slipped from the peak between 2018 and 2020, and has hinted that lack of investment may cost them despite all of Klopp’s qualities.
The former defender said: “I was at the game on Saturday, Liverpool v Chelsea, and I said after the game – sometimes you can’t put your finger on it [but] something’s not right.
“Not bad. There’s no massive spirit issue, or the manager falling out with players. Nothing like that.
“But there is something just missing. I remember going three years ago and thinking ‘we [United] are in trouble’. Two years ago thinking, ‘we are in serious trouble’.
“The crowd. The players. The speed of the football. The front three. Alisson and Van Dijk came. Oh dear. They are going to win the league.
“You can just feel it and see when something is right. It’s just not there [now], that team has gone a little bit just over the edge.
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“They are not the team they were two years ago. They are a good team by the way – they will win a lot of games. They’ll go close.
“But I don’t think they are there. There is something just not quite right.”
Despite the signing of Konate and the return of Harvey Elliott from a loan spell at Blackburn, Neville believes that Klopp has every right to be frustrated with the lack of transfer activity at Anfield and that may have led to a loss of momentum.
Neville told the Webby & O’Neill Youtube channel on transfer deadline day: “Last season for [Liverpool] to finish third was unbelievable. [Klopp is] still doing a great job.
“And by the way, they are going to make a profit in this transfer window. They’ve got no money – that is one of the things with Liverpool. They haven’t got the money other clubs have got.
“He’s doing an unbelievable job with the resources.
“He may have wanted more support in the transfer market. He might have wanted two or three big players. He’s seen that Chelsea, City and [United].
“He’s not got that money. He’s having to deal with a team who are a good team, but look like the team that needed a boost.
“There are no massive problems at Liverpool. I’m not saying it is broken. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
“But I don’t think they have got the momentum with them at this moment. They are just plateauting. I’m not sure Liverpool can get to first. I don’t think they will get above [United] this year.”
Liverpool were not big spenders in the transfer market this year and will continue to lean on the undoubted talents of Klopp to once again squeeze every drop from his squad in order to challenge for success both domestically and in Europe.
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