Robbie Keane has rated Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool’s chances of challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title next season.
Despite trailing Arsenal for much of the 2022-23 campaign, Man City eventually lifted their third consecutive title and fifth in six years.
The former Tottenham striker Keane believes Manchester City will go down as ‘one of the best teams in history’ if they complete a historic treble, having beaten Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup final.
Pep Guardiola’s side are one win away from the treble and will battle Serie A giants Inter Milan in this weekend’s Champions League final.
While Keane showered praises on City and Guardiola, he anticipates a ‘closer’ title race next season, tipping Arsenal to challenge once again and Liverpool to mount a title charge following an underwhelming campaign.
The Republic of Ireland legend also believes Chelsea will improve under Mauricio Pochettino but says the Blues may need ‘a year or two’ to fully recover from a terrible campaign in which they finished 12th.
Keane told Betway: “It’s very difficult to say where Man City go from here, because if you win the treble, what players do you need? It depends on which players go out.
“If you get a couple of players that leave, I’m sure they’ll be looking to sign some players.
“Next year, I don’t think it’s going to be a two-horse race with Arsenal. I think Liverpool will be back in the fold, I really believe that.
“With Mauricio Pochettino coming in, I think Chelsea could be good, but they might need a year or two.
“I’m obviously hoping Tottenham will be too, if they get a few new signings, but that depends on if Harry Kane stays.
“I think it will be a lot closer next year, in terms of teams challenging.”
On Manchester City, Keane added: “I’ve said it from the start about Man City, I really believed they were going to go on and do really good things because of the team that they have.
“They always peak at a certain time, and we’ve seen how well they’ve done over the last couple of months.
“This Man City team, if they win the treble, will go down as one of the best that we’ve ever seen in Premier League history.
“That treble-winning Man United team was a really top, top team. It’s very hard to compare then and now, but if you look at the way that City play the game, how they want to dominate teams and really put on a show, it’s incredible to watch.
“For me, Pep is one of the greatest managers that we’ve seen. What he did with Barcelona, it was incredible football to watch, probably the best team I’ve seen play.
“And now this Man City team is doing the exact same. He’ll go down as one of the greatest managers of all time.”
Alexis Mac Allister signing could change Liverpool penalty pecking order
Argentina playmaker Alexis Mac Allister is booked in for a medical ahead of his proposed move from Brighton.
Liverpool have taken a huge step closer to signing the prime target Alexis Mac Allister – and with his imminent arrival comes an added bonus for Jurgen Klopp and his squad.
Having abandoned initial plans to acquire Jude Bellingham due to the financial costs involved, the Reds directed their focus to Mac Allister and the Argentine has now been booked in for his medical. It means he could be just days away from putting pen-to-paper on his transfer from Brighton.
Mac Allister will add creativity, guile and style to the ranks at Anfield and beyond next season, while his impressive penalty kick record might, also, come in handy. Indeed, the 24-year-old scored six times from the spot last season in the Premier League alone.
Excluding shoot-outs, Mac Allister has netted nine out of 10 attempts as a professional – while he slotted home during Brighton’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United beneath the famous Wembley arch. So how might that impact Mohamed Salah’s role as penalty-taker-in-chief next campaign?
Well, that is something Klopp has been pressed on relatively recently after the Egypt forward missed from 12 yards against Bournemouth and Arsenal last season. However, top-scorer Salah did go on to redeem himself with penalty goals during successive victories over Tottenham and Fulham.
Speaking last month, Klopp revealed that he spoke with Salah about his status – with Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and, seemingly, Mac Allister now waiting there in reserve with James Milner having left the club. Klopp said: “We had a conversation and he [Salah] wanted to stay as the penalty taker.
“We had a normal conversation about it and I said; ‘Okay, you are’. You don’t feel great in that moment – and that’s what he said – because the pressure obviously increases with the penalties you miss.
“I think with all the goals Mo scored, we can’t just judge it for two missed and go away from it.
“He enjoys these situations. The problem is before we missed the pen, we didn’t have one for 28 games or so. We train that, obviously, but it’s a special situation. You cannot. 28 weeks is like four years. It feels like forever and you can’t remember any kind of penalty.”
It’s likely that Mac Allister, with such a strong recent record from the spot, will immediately jump to near the top of Liverpool’s pecking order, though it’s unlikely anyone will replace Salah on penalties anytime soon.
In addition to scoring eight penalties for Brighton in the Premier League alone, Mac Allister also netted his one spot kick for AA Argentinos Juniors during the 2018/2019 campaign. It was from there where the midfielder pitched up in the Premier League for €8m midway through that season.