Graeme Souness believes that Liverpool will have to “park this season” in the summer because the majority of the club’s players have not performed to their potential. Jurgen Klopp’s side has endured a difficult campaign, with injuries and poor form combining to see them fail to reach the heights of their previous seasons.
Liverpool are fifth, 23 points behind champions Manchester City, ahead of Sunday evening’s Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion.
The Reds finished the 2019/20 campaign 18 points clear of Man City on 99 points, but with three matches left they have already lost six more league games this season.
Injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have disrupted Liverpool’s defence, while captain Jordan Henderson has also spent a considerable time on the sidelines.
As they near the end of the season, Liverpool are fighting to earn a place in next season’s Champions League – the competition they won so memorably just two years ago.
Thursday’s 4-2 win over Manchester United means that If Klopp’s side wins all three of their matches, against West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace, then they stand a good chance of finishing in the top four, with Chelsea and Leicester facing each other on Tuesday.
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Former Liverpool midfielder and manager Souness was impressed by their performance at Old Trafford, but still thinks many of the club’s star players have underperformed this season.
“I thought the other night, there were glimpses of them being back to their best,” he said on Sky Sports.
“The intensity was back in their game and I thought they were fabulous. Remember: Old Trafford isn’t a happy hunting ground for Liverpool, evening going back to the days when Liverpool were dominant.
“It was a really, really good performance under pressure. I’m fancying them now, all of a sudden.
“A bit of consistency, people playing with their tails up, playing like how we expected them to play.
“There are several people in that football club who have to have a look at themselves at the end of the season and ask ‘Did I have a good season?’
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“I think there are a few who can say yes, but the majority would have to hold their hands up and say no.
“Win the next three games, park this season, Champions League next year and get back on the horse.”
Liverpool midfielder Fabinho believes that a top-four finish would constitute a successful season for the club.
“If you asked me at the beginning of the season, I would say no,” he told Sky Sports.
“At the beginning, we are always optimistic, I would talk about winning trophies.
“Right now, I would say yes because the season has been a little bit strange. After the injuries, the bad moments we’ve had, being in the top four would mean a success.”