Reds legend John Aldridge says Manchester City are far from out of the Premier League title race this season – because Pep Guardiola will spend a huge amount in the January transfer window to solve their defensive problems.
Club legend Vincent Kompany departed without being replaced over the summer, while French defender Aymeric Laporte has been out injured, as has John Stones, who cost around £50 million to sign from Everton.
In their absence, Nicolas Otamendi has been unconvincing and Fernandinho has had to play at centre-back rather than his normal midfield berth.
Writing in his Irish Independent column, Aldridge said: “Their 2-0 home defeat against Wolves on the back of the away loss at Norwich shows that this City team have cracks that are being exposed, with their defensive frailties in evidence yet again.
“John Stones will come back soon, but I don’t see him solving defensive problems that are stemming from the reality that Nicolas Otamendi is not up to the job in the absence of the departed Vincent Kompany and the injured Aymeric Laporte.
“Pep Guardiola has said he won’t spend any money in the January transfer window, but I fully expect him to spend upwards of £100m on a centre-back. He knows that defence will not be good enough to win the Premier League or Champions League.”
The Reds will face City at Anfield on November 10 and before that face Manchester United, Tottenham and Aston Villa in the Premier League.
By the time the January transfer window opens, the Reds will have played exactly half of their league matches for the 2019/20 season.
Manchester City will have played one more match as the Reds’ clash with West Ham United has been postponed due to the FIFA Club World Cup in December.