Emile Heskey says Liverpool’s aim this season must be to secure a top four spot, as they begin their first full campaign under Jurgen Klopp.
During his stint at Anfield, Heskey helped the Reds finish fourth or higher on four occasions.
But since finishing second in the 2008-09 campaign, the red half of Merseyside outfit have finished outside the top four in six of the subsequent seven seasons.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News at our launch as the official betting partner of the FA, Heskey told us his thoughts on his former team…
“It’s interesting because it’s very much Klopp’s team now,” the former England man told us.
“He’s changed a few players, taken out a few guys that he didn’t want and brought in players that he does want so it’ll be interesting to see what he can achieve. He’s really enthusiastic and that portrays itself on the pitch when you’ve got a manager heading and kicking every ball with you.
Heskey added: “Liverpool have got to be looking at the top four this year, and that would be progression. They may challenge for the title, but perhaps the season after this is the one for them.”
The Reds have spent big this summer, laying out £34m for Sadio Mane from Southampton, and another £25m on Newcastle’s Georginio Wijnaldum.
“Mane and Wijnaldum bring pace and energy. Mane isn’t the finished article yet, but he’s very exciting with his pace and movement,” said Heskey.
“Sometimes his finishing isn’t quite there but he brings a big willingness to move and put himself about, to get into good positions and find space,” the former Leicester striker explained.
“He doesn’t just create chances for himself either, but he also creates space and chances for others, so with him and Wijnaldum it’ll be interesting to see how they fit in.”
Heskey is also keen to see how three of Europe’s biggest managers fare in the north west, with Klopp seeing old foe Pep Guardiola join Jose Mourinho in Manchester this summer.
“It’s going to be explosive, I’m really looking forward to it.
“They’re three big names with three big teams and some of the biggest players, so it’s going to be very exciting up there in the north-west.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.