With the new Premier League around the corner Liverpool fans have good reason to be cautiously optimistic after an off season of heavy spending. Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson Becker have arrived at Merseyside for a combined total of around €180 million, with the Reds expected to mount a serious title challenge for the first time since they came agonisingly close to winning the Premier League in the 2013/14 season.
But one person who thinks Jurgen Klopp's men will fall short again is Richard Dunne. The former Ireland international was speaking on BT Sport about Liverpool's title chances, and argued that the squad is still missing a player in defence:
I still think they're missing a centre half.
They plugged a gap slightly with Van Djik last season but I just feel he needs a partner to go alongside him and they'll be real challengers.
Dunne commended Dejan Lovren on a good World Cup outing, but told Jake Humphries that over 38 games the Croatian will let his side down:
Over the course of a season, he'll make too many errors and I think he makes them in big games. If Van Dijk goes missing for any amount of time I think Lovren will struggle.
Asked about the pressure surrounding Jurgen Klopp this season following the club's investment in players, Dunne stated that the German could be in trouble should they fail to win any silverware this season:
I think if you get a reputation which they're starting to get at the moment, they're playing great football they're getting to finals but they're losing and they'll be thinking if they lose again or come second have we got that manager out there that can push us that one little step further.
Because the all have good players but they're just not winning when it comes down to it, is that down to the manager, what is it?
Chris Sutton then questioned the former City defender on whether another trophy-less season at Anfield could lead to the German's dismissal, to which Dunne replied "possibly, yeah":
Progression is all about winning, and they've done amazing but they have to win something.
When you listen to Liverpool fans they're still going on about how long it's been since they've won the league, and their not interested that they've come second.
However inflammatory Dunne's comments about Klopp possibly losing his job, the 38-year-old does make a good point about Liverpool becoming perennial runners up. In Klopp's time at the club, he has overseen three finals, losing all, but on the other hand he's scarcely been better equipped to bring Liverpool's five year trophy drought to an end than now.
"If Van Dijk goes missing for any amount of time I think Lovren will struggle."
Richard Dunne still sees Liverpool's defence as their Achilles heel.https://t.co/Qkz3tzZ1Be
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 5, 2018