Former Tottenham and England star Glenn Hoddle says that the Reds have improved since last season, despite not signing a senior outfield player during the summer transfer window.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a poor night out on the wing last night, but Hoddle says he can be like a new signing having missed the whole of the last campaign, while he was also impressed with the depth that the Reds have to use off the bench.
Speaking on BT Sport, via the Daily Express, Hoddle said: “I think they’re a better team than last year, I really do. Even though they’ve not bought anyone, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s like having a new player.
“It’s like you’ve just signed a new player and he’s already had a taste of playing for Liverpool and playing for the manager and was playing very well.
“I think they’ve got this belief about them. I saw the Community Shield and the subs they brought on and how they continued and went again.
“[Xherdan] Shaqiri, [Adam] Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain – wow. They’ve got some very, very good players. I think when you’re playing a long, hard season in the Premier League, substitutions are key. In the last 20 minutes [games are] won or lost.”
Depth is crucial to any team’s title hopes, and that will be shown this weekend at Southampton in the Premier League. Less than 72 hours after lifting the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul, the Reds will kick-off against the Saints down at St Mary’s.
The likes of Shaqiri and Lallana could well be included in the side from the start at the weekend, with Fabinho just one of the Reds men who looked exhausted by the end of the match in Turkey.
Klopp was confident enough in the size of his squad over the summer not to bring more players in, when that is what most people would have done. Saturday will be the first of a few tests to see if his judgement was correct.