Michael Owen has taken a swipe at Manchester United, claiming that while arch-rivals Liverpool are signing “world champions”, their new arrivals “look like they’ve never played football”.
Liverpool have an impressive record in the transfer market with very few of Jurgen Klopp’s signings failing to make an impact at Anfield.
United have been less convincing with their transfer business since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013, although that could change under new manager Erik ten Hag.
Owen, looking back on Liverpool’s 4-1 Champions League defeat by Napoli, told BT Sport: “It’s very rare that five players play well and five players spoil the pitch. Normally you play well as a team and badly as a team – it affects everyone.
“If there’s no pressing from the front, the defense suddenly looks vulnerable, then they make mistakes, it’s a chain reaction.
“Liverpool have been world champions over the years no matter who they have signed, then teams like Manchester United over the last 10 years no matter who they have signed look like they have never played football.
“But what I’m trying to say is that it’s very easy to bring a player into the team or for all the players to play well at the same time. It’s a team game.
“We saw that at Liverpool, they either play well or fail like they did the other day [against Napoli].’
In Ten Hag’s first summer as Manchester United manager, the Premier League giants spent over £200m on the likes of Antony, Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez.
Liverpool spent less than £100m but were still able to bring Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho, Calvin Ramsey and Arthur to Anfield.
The Reds suffered a hugely disappointing defeat in Napoli last week but reacted well as they beat Ajax 2-1 at Anfield last night.
Klopp said: “It was all different. The start was different. The middle was different. The exit was different. How we played, how we defended, everything was different.
“Much higher intensity, much more aggression, braver, more ready, everything was better.
“The story of the game is typical, not of our season so far because we’re usually 0-1 behind, more of the situation we’re in.
“We did a lot of good things and played a really good game, we had about 25 shots, which is good against a strong team, full of confidence, absolutely confident in their style of play and we caused them a lot of problems. ‘
Liverpool were due to play Graham Potter’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend but the Premier League game has been canceled ahead of the Queen’s funeral.
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