Ex Man Utd right-back Gary Neville has claimed Liverpool would be on course to win the Premier League title this season if they had one Arsenal player in particular in their ranks.
Neville was speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast after the Gunners beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Emirates to make a real statement in the Premier League title race.
Declan Rice was outstanding for Mikel Arteta’s side. The 24-year-old was dominant in the middle of the park as the two heavyweights played out something of a chess match.
Of course, Rice has been under a lot of scrutiny over the last few months. He joined Arsenal for a club-record fee over the summer. And with that, he obviously had to make a big step up.
However, the midfielder has been superb so far this season. It says everything that no-one is now talking about the transfer fee that brought him to the club.
Liverpool meanwhile, have made a bright start to the campaign. The Reds look to be building once again. And they are on their way back into title contention.
There are a couple of areas of concern for Jurgen Klopp’s men. And Gary Neville admitted that they could be contenders to win the title – but they may just be a little too weak in the middle of the park.
“They could, they’re more likely to than Spurs, no doubt about that,” he told The Gary Neville Podcast. “I think Liverpool have got something about them. Today they were playing against a really good Brighton side.
“They’ve got an outstanding goalkeeper, Liverpool, that I always think will keep them in a lot of football matches. And they’ve got striker who can score goals, and lots of them. They’ve got a good forward line.
“The midfield, it’s attacking. Has it got the defensive stability of what we’ve seen here today, when Rodri comes back in and when you see Rice and Partey and Jorginho. Have they got that defensive stability, Liverpool?
“If you put Declan Rice in Liverpool’s holding midfield position, or you put Rodri in there, I’d be saying Liverpool will definitely be on for the title.”
Liverpool did not address their holding midfield issues over the summer. Alexis Mac Allister has found life difficult in the role since his move. Meanwhile, Wataru Endo has not yet established himself as a regular in Klopp’s side.
So it is no surprise that Neville believes that Rice could have a massive impact on this Liverpool side.
It is a situation that the Reds are going to have to address. Right now, Liverpool look a little too vulnerable in the middle of the pitch to really compete with the best in the Premier League over the course of the entire season.