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Jamie Carragher disagreed with Gary Neville and Roy Keane by predicting Liverpool to be the closest challengers to Manchester City instead of Manchester United. When quizzed on which club will be the nearest challengers to Pep Guardiola’s side next term, Neville and Carragher disagreed, with Keane stressed both clubs’ success would hinge on their summer recruitment.
“We go back to recruitment in the summer, who can bring in top quality players,” Keane told Sky Sports. “I still think United are short two or three players. Liverpool, no doubt, will have to regroup, I think the big problem for Liverpool is they haven’t been a good team this year.
“I don’t think they’ve had any good leadership skills from some of the senior players, obviously the attacking players have not done the business. They still have enough quality to bounce back next year, but the recruitment will be vital for both clubs this summer in who will challenge Man City.”
Neville said: “I’d like to think Manchester United will get those couple of players in the summer that can keep them progressing and get them nearer to City. I think in the last two or three years that there’s no doubt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken them in the right direction and they’re improving, they’re getting better, more confident.
“Hopefully, they can win a trophy this season which I think will be enormous, not just for the players in the dressing room, but also for the manager. Usually, you win the Carabao Cup or the Europa League as a pre curse for giving yourself confidence and getting better in the league, so I’m hopeful they’ll get the players in the summer.”
Carragher argued for his former club, though, stressing the importance of Virgil van Dijk’s return from injury.
“Next season, I still think Liverpool will be the strongest challengers, but it all boils down to recruitment in the summer and who you bring in,” he said. “I certainly think with Jurgen Klopp, players who have been there and won the title before and you’re bringing Van Dijk back, who possibly, for me, alongside Kevin De Bruyne, were two of the best players in the Premier League for the last sort of two or three years. So, if you’re bringing someone back of that quality and he plays the way he normally does, Liverpool will be a lot stronger. They’ll have the edge to challenge Man City next season.”