Liverpool are a world-class goalkeeper short of mounting a substantial challenge for the Premier League title next season, says Tim Sherwood.
There may be a 15-point chasm between Jurgen Klopp’s men and Manchester City, but the Merseysiders have arguably come closer than any Premier League side to matching the fluid style of the champions-elect.
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have been tormenting Premier League defences, but the form of goalkeepers Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius has left much to be desired.
As a result, Liverpool have been linked with Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker, and Sherwood believes the signing of the Brazilian, or a goalkeeper of similar pedigree, would leave the Reds hot on tails of City.
“Liverpool are the closest team to be challenging Manchester City,” he told The Debate.
“Yes they lost Philippe Coutinho, which was a big blow, but they’ve coped without him. They look they will need to find a replacement for Emre Can, he’s a big player too, but they do have Naby Keita coming in the summer.
“Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker is a good prospect. There’s a lot of noise coming out of Liverpool. Perhaps he has a buy-out clause, otherwise they wouldn’t be tracking him down as they reportedly are.
“The key for Liverpool’s current goalkeepers in the mistakes they have made. Liverpool cannot gamble, they need a sure thing.
Speaking on the Sunday Supplement, the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel believes Liverpool have the firepower capable of winning the Premier League
“It’s a key position and you’re not going to win anything without a top goalkeeper.”
Ray Parlour joined Sherwood in The Debate studio and claimed Liverpool would have a realistic chance of winning a first title since 1990 if they signed a goalkeeper of the calibre of David de Gea.
Parlour won the Premier League titles in Arsenal sides featuring David Seaman and Jens Lehman, and the former Gunners midfielder stressed the importance of having someone reliable in between the sticks.
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“If Liverpool can find a target like David de Gea they have every chance of winning the league,” he said.
“You always have to have a good goalkeeper, at times they keep you in games. When I was at Arsenal, Seaman and Lehman kept us in games, they didn’t make mistakes at the wrong time.
“Liverpool goalkeepers have made big mistakes at the wrong time and that’s cost them.”