Gerrard: Liverpool are very close

Steven Gerrard has backed Liverpool to be a strong contender for the English Premier League title in the new season.

Gerrard feels his former team has grown in leaps and bounds under Jurgen Klopp having reached the final of Champions League and also finishing in fourth in the league in the 2017/18 season.

The former Reds captain has also hailed the signing of midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho.

Gerrard told Press Association Sport: “I think Liverpool are very close, I think they are knocking on the door.

“I am delighted with where Liverpool are right now. Of course I wanted them to win the Champions League and I’m disappointed they never did, but when you look at the big picture – and the journey they are on – it is a very exciting time being part of this Liverpool set-up.

“They have a terrific manager leading the charge and they have started making improvements and as a fan and an ex-player it is great to see.

“They are recruiting very well. People want to come and play for this manager, people want to come and play for these supporters.

“The signing of Fabinho will help. I am sure the other two or three targets they are after will help them be stronger and make the squad stronger and hopefully they can have a right good go at it.”

Gerrard, who in May took a job as the manager of Scottish giants-Rangers, admitted that City will still be the team to beat, but feels Liverpool have grown enough to give them a run for their money.

The Premier League big spenders enjoyed a 25 points advantage over Liverpool by the end of the 2017/18 season.

“The gap has been big in terms of points not just for Liverpool but the chasing pack. I am sure Man City will strengthen again so it is a big ask but I think Liverpool are realistic title contenders going in next season.

“The form, how they played against City, they have proved they are capable. The challenge for Liverpool is can they do it over 38 games?

“The starting 11 is very strong. I think by making signings naturally your bench becomes stronger.”