Emile Heskey has ruled out Liverpool’s title chances because he fears they won’t be able to keep up with the “relentless” Manchester City.
The Premier League returns this weekend, with City flying high and trailing early leaders Arsenal.
Pep Guardiola’s City are unbeaten with five wins and two draws so far, as well as a league-high goal difference of over 17, six more than any other team.
By contrast, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have won just two of six games to date, struggling to match the high standards they set when they pushed City to the last day of last season’s championship.
Former Reds striker Heskey has stated that Liverpool are “probably not” in the title race this season, telling Stats Perform: “I think their main focus is being in the top four now because the League of Champions is essential.
“I think City are ruthless. Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. They know how to blow things up.”
“They may be 1-0 down, but you know they are going to come back. And this is the ruthlessness that I think Liverpool had a couple of seasons ago, and that they are trying to get back now.”
“I don’t think it’s going to be a particularly bad season to break into the top four, I think it’s still huge.
Heskey said “everyone knows” that losing Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich was “a big mistake” for Liverpool, as the sale took place at the end of June and ended a six-year stay at Anfield. for the Senegalese striker.
Former England international Heskey values Luis Diaz and is hopeful that Mohamed Salah will roar back into Golden Boot form, having made a somewhat disappointing start to the campaign with two goals and two assists in six league games.
“The thing about Mo is we’re so used to it,” Heskey said of the Egyptian’s prolific scoring. “But when it wasn’t Mo, we had someone else who could take on that role.
“And if you don’t have that other person to take that role, who’s also going to get you the goals that Mo used to do, then you can start pointing at Mo and saying, ‘Well he’s not doing this, he’s not doing that. ‘.
“But the pressures come with it and he understands that, and he can get on with it and deal with it. He’s a fantastic player.”
“I think just give him the ball and let him go and enjoy again. When you see Mo Salah smiling, that’s when you know you’ve got something good. Even when he’s missing chances and he’s smiling, you know he’s fit.”
Liverpool face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday, their first domestic game in four weeks, after two postponements following the death of Queen Elizabeth II were followed by the international break.
Darwin Nunez has yet to show his best form at Benfica in a Liverpool shirt since switching from the Portuguese giants at the end of the season, but Heskey suspects the Uruguayan striker has the talent to become a “phenomenal” player in the club. premier league
As was the case with a couple of Arsenal greats, Heskey feels Nunez could turn good after a period of adaptation.
Heskey said: “He’s still a young player and one thing we have to understand is that these players who come from abroad and adapt, they don’t all adapt right away.
“It’s a bit of an anomaly for those who just walk in and fit right in.
“You have to give them time. You have to remember that Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry didn’t fit in and they fit right in, and we’re talking about the greats of the Premier League. So give them a chance and give them time to adapt. I know we don’t have time, but Give them time to adapt and he’ll be a phenomenal player.”