Danny Murphy has told Match of the Day 2 that he cannot see Liverpool anywhere else but back amongst the title challengers next season after their torrid campaign took another turn at the weekend.
The Reds suffered their sixth straight loss at home on Sunday as Fulham won 1-0. It was a hugely disappointing display from Jurgen Klopp’s side who are now four points off the top four.
Of course, no side in the top-half of the table has had to deal with injuries to the extent that Liverpool have throughout the season.
And following the game, Murphy insisted that he remains confident that they will bounce back once they have those key men making their returns to the fold.
“I think strength in depth is obviously a problem for them, the recruitment and the level of quality on the bench, even the younger players coming through to try and push those senior boys,” he told Match of the Day 2.
“But I don’t worry long-term. I still think when everyone’s fit, they’ll be competitive again at the top of the league next season. I just can’t see any other way Liverpool will be at the start of next season when those players get back. I do just think it’s one of those bizarre moments in time.”
TBR View: Liverpool’s weekend back four symbolised story of their season
Liverpool boasted a back four that included Neco Williams, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams on Sunday. All of the trio have shown glimpses of their quality during the time in the first-team.
However, it is surely only going to be by playing alongside the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold that they are going to realise their full potential.
And that obviously has an impact on the rest of the side in front of them. The midfielders, for example, probably felt that they could not solely focus on their own games. And that, in many ways, is surely the story of their season.
Klopp has been unable to get any consistency in his team selections. And that has left Liverpool with no chance of being the immaculately-oiled machine they were in previous years.
So it should come as little surprise if Liverpool do look drastically different once again next season as they start to welcome key men back and put this year behind them.