Liverpool & Southampton genuine top-four contenders, says Dalglish

Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes the Reds and Southampton are genuine Premier League title contenders

brendan rodgers
Brendan Rodgers replaced Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool manager in May Back Page Images

Kenny Dalglish believes Liverpool and Southampton have to be considered as serious top-four challengers after their excellent starts to the season.

The Reds, who are currently in second place, are two points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal, whilst third-placed Southampton trail the Merseyside outfit by a point.

And Dalglish feels both clubs are playing with more freedom than their under-pressure rivals, and ex-Reds boss can see the pair remaining near the summit if they strengthen in January transfer window.

“They are the two sides that have been the surprise ¬packages of the season so far and they appear to be the ones playing with the most freedom,” Dalglish wrote in his Daily Mirror column.

“They look fresh and eager and I think they are both being helped by the fact they don’t have to worry about European football this season.

“Of course, you want to be involved in the Champions League and the Europa League, if you can, but sometimes you can use your absence from those competitions to your advantage.

“We are not yet a third of the way through the season, but we are not far off and it is getting to the point where we have to take the claims of Southampton and Liverpool seriously.

“Nobody really considered either of them – especially the Saints – legitimate contenders for a top-four place this season.

“But they are reaping the benefits of not having to adapt to a new manager, as many of the leading clubs are having to do.

“It has got to the stage now where, if they buy in January, I think both might have a real chance of staying up there.

“We know that the top teams will all strengthen. Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City will all buy in the next window.

“So, if they can – if finances allow it – then ¬Liverpool and Southampton need to do the same.

“If they do that, the rewards could be considerable. They have got themselves in position. Now they have to try to seize their opportunity.”

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