Keown highlights a potential weakness in Liverpool ranks; gives season verdict

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

Liverpool will be aiming for the top four this season.

Liverpool's manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after the match

Former player and current pundit Martin Keown believes Liverpool’s decision to sell Martin Skrtel this summer was a big gamble and predicts they will be challenging for the top five this season, Daily Mail report.

The Reds suffered from a wobbly defence last season and it was an area boss Jurgen Klopp needed to improve.

Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan have arrived, yet the decision to release Kolo Toure and sell Skrtel has left the side light in the middle and evidently lacking in Premier League experience.

Liverpool's Martin Skrtel during training

Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Keown feels letting Skrtel leave was a big risk due to questions over Mamadou Sakho’s fitness and the reliability of former Southampton man Dejan Lovren.

“It was a big gamble letting Martin Skrtel go, particularly given the doubts over Mamadou Sakho’s fitness and the reliability of Dejan Lovren,” Keown added.

“They shipped too many goals last season — and often looked like mannequins during set-pieces — so they must get their centre-back partnership right. There could be a lot resting on Joel Matip’s shoulders.”

Liverpool's Joel Matip in action with Mainz's Jhon CordobaLiverpool's Joel Matip in action with Mainz's Jhon Cordoba

Despite not spending huge amounts unlike rivals Manchester United and Manchester City, many supporters at Anfield believe a top-four spot is a realistic target and one they should be aiming for.

Keown, though, believes a top-six spot is more realistic, adding: “They should definitely push on from eighth and will be knocking on the door of the top five. Having no European games will help them as it did in 2013-14.”

Going forward, the arrivals of Georginio Wijnaludum and Sadio Mane should provide a greater threat in the final third though the number of strikers currently at the club could see one or two leave before deadline day.

The Merseyside club start their season with a tricky tie at Arsenal, a game they drew 0-0 last season.

General view during the match - Anfield, LiverpoolGeneral view during the match - Anfield, Liverpool

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