Liverpool’s “world class” attacking talent can inspire the club to mount a Premier League title challenge this season, according to former Reds midfielder Momo Sissoko.
However, Sissoko, who played for Liverpool between 2005 and 2008, added that the Merseysiders looked weaker in defence as a result of the loss of Lucas Leiva to Lazio and the continued absence of Mamadou Sakho from the first-team.
Sakho spent the second half of last season on loan at Crystal Palace after his relationship with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp broke down and is widely expected to leave Anfield before the transfer window shuts.
“I think that Jurgen Klopp has a very clear vision,” Sissoko told ESPN. “His first full year at the club was one of transition and he had to adapt to the English Premier League.
“Now they can be title contenders. They have made some good signings, like Mohamed Salah, and if they can hold on to Philippe Coutinho, it’s going to be a big boost for the club, and I really think Liverpool can have a good year.
“They are exceptionally strong in attack, with players like Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Coutinho, Salah and Daniel Sturridge, who are all world class. In attack, they have everything they need to have a big season.”
The former Mali international urged Klopp to bring in defensive reinforcements to account for the expected departure of Sakho, who is valued at around £30m ($39m).
“In defence, they have to make up for the absence of Mamadou Sakho,” he said. “I think that Mamadou’s commitment and leadership should be an asset for Klopp.
“I don’t know what happened between them, but I think Mamadou could have been an asset to the defence and the squad as a whole.”
Sakho, 27, played eight games for Palace after making his debut for the club against Middlesbrough in February.
He helped the Eagles stave off relegation to the Championship but his season ended after he picked up a knee injury against Tottenham in April.