Gabriel Agbonlahor has dismissed Liverpool’s chances of winning the Premier League title, claiming their bench is like that of a 10th placed team.
In his exclusive column for talkSPORT, Gabriel Agbonlahor has said that Liverpool remain among the top teams in the Premier League. However, the former Aston Villa captain added that the Reds are unlikely to win the top-flight title because of poor quality of their backup options.
Liverpool endured a largely quiet summer transfer window, wherein they only signed one player in the form of Ibrahima Konate. And the young French defender also arrived at Anfield early in the window, meaning there was hardly any movement for much of the two-month period.
The Merseyside giants did not really offload many players either, meaning Jurgen Klopp has pretty much the same squad at his disposal as he did last season, bar a couple of players here and there. Liverpool’s decision to keep their squad relatively same has drawn all sorts of reactions.
However, if Gabriel Agbonlahor is to be believed, Liverpool perhaps missed a trick by not adding quality backup options. In fact, the former Aston Villa captain has even said that the Reds’ bench is that of a 10th placed team, and that will be their undoing in the Premier League title race.
Agbonlahor wrote in his talkSPORT column, “Liverpool are still a top team too but any injuries and they’re in big trouble because their bench is like a 10th placed team’s bench. Jurgen Klopp against Chelsea looked at his subs and saw Naby Keita, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino and brought on Kosta Tsimikas for Andy Robertson.”
“That was his last change when he needed to win the game. With those sort of players on the bench, especially Chamberlain and Minamino, you thought you’d bring them on against Chelsea when you need a goal and they have 10 men behind the ball. For me, Liverpool’s bench will cost them. Their lack of business is strange because you can’t stand still.”
“Virgil van Dijk coming back is amazing but the other top four have amazing defences too. Sadio Mane and Mo Salah might be going to the African Cup of Nations in January so they might have to force one through then to cope with their loss. I think Liverpool will finish fourth this season, behind champions Chelsea, Man City and Man United.”
Agbonlahor’s comments do make some sense, considering the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all have some quality backup players in their squads. Gary Neville has been similarly critical of Liverpool previously, although with a manager like Jurgen Klopp at the helm, the Reds’ supporters will be hopeful of a memorable 2021/22 campaign.