Liverpool have been shaken to core – and Mane sale was ‘world’s worst business’

Liverpool were my tip for the Premier League title but they've been shaken to their core in their opening three matches. So many of their big players just haven't got going and weirdly, I could never see them beating Man United.

Offloading Sadio Mane was the worst business in the world. It was a terrible sale. Even if you kept him for another season and let him go for free, you've got a world-class forward for another 12 months.

For that amount of money – £35m – you can't tell me Liverpool think that's a lot because they went and bought Darwin Nunez for £85m. They could have delayed that and kept Mane. He's a big-game player that makes things and Liverpool are currently missing those.

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Virgil van Dijk is a Rolls-Royce and never in your wildest dreams would you imagine him to do what he did the other night at Old Trafford. If he was on trial at Liverpool and that was a practise match, he wouldn't be coming back next week. That's how bad it was.

We have seen over time that Liverpool can still reel games off, they can win seven on the trot and we wouldn't even blink so it's not time to panic, yet. Then again, that was with a razor-sharp Mane. He was such an integral player to everything that's been so good about Liverpool.

I'm starting to wonder whether Jurgen Klopp fancies Andy Robertson anymore. He keeps on being subbed for Kostas Tsimikas while Harvey Elliott looks like their best player and he's only a kid. Klopp is also bringing off his captain Jordan Henderson after an hour. If you're the skipper, you'd be shocked at that.

Will Liverpool finish in the top four this season? Have your say here

Henderson is 32 and Milner is 36 – not much has changed in this game but it has definitely gotten quicker. They've got slower. Liverpool always do their homework on signings so they won't just sign somebody for the sake of it. They have to suit the way they play.

One name that keeps cropping up is Youri Tielemans, who was dropped to the bench by Leicester last weekend as he continues to angle for a move. I'm just not sure if he suits Liverpool. I might be wrong but if they do go for him, it's a panic buy. There hasn't been any interest in him before this mini-crisis.

I don't like that – when you lose a couple of games and all of a sudden, you buy someone who wasn't even on the radar. You don't just become a bad team overnight. Key players haven't got started and injuries have played their part. The Nunez red card was also a massive kick in the teeth.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been getting loads of stick, he's all over the place defensively right now but you have to take the rough with the smooth. He's a special player. People are quick to flag his poor performances but when you're getting assists like he does, he is such an asset. He is going to have off days, just like his unbelievable days.

Last week against Crystal Palace, he put a ball through to Mohammed Salah that only Dennis Bergkamp could do. The criticism is over the top. The title isn't gone for Liverpool just yet but it will be soon if they don't up their game…

Sad to see Dele Alli go

At 21, Dele Alli was one of the best young kids in the world. He was destined for Barcelona or Real Madrid.

He was the next Frank Lampard the way he arrived in the box, there was none of them about. I couldn't talk highly enough of the kid. I find it a real shame to see him leave the Premier League.

I don't like to say too much because you don't know what's going on away from the football field but I feel for him. When he went to Everton, I thought that was an unbelievable move that would kickstart his career again.

Now he's gone to Turkish football, we're never going to see him ever again. When do we ever see it on the tele? I really hoped it would work out at Everton but when you've got all the money in the world, it becomes harder to stay at the top. I just hope he's alright because it is a major fall.

Jesse Marsch working wonders at Leeds

Leeds really did blow Chelsea away last weekend and it's a testament to the manager and new signings – particularly Brenden Aaronson. I think with American players, the one thing you're sure of is they play with their heart on their sleeve while giving absolutely everything.

I really like Jesse Marsch and I hope he does well. He comes across as such a nice bloke. He'll be working around the clock to improve that club. There won't be enough hours in the day for him.

Selling Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips looked a recipe for disaster but the recruitment has been spot on. Tyler Adams was exceptional against Chelsea. At this rate, Phillips will be lucky to have played two games by the time the World Cup comes around. It's a real worry.

Raphinha carried them along last season and they would have been relegated without him. It just shows that you shouldn't be scared to lose your best players – providing you have a plan in place.


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