Glen Johnson says he turned down a new contract at Liverpool – and that none of the Reds’ new signings will walk straight into the team.
““They’ve made some signings, but not ones that are going to walk straight into the team,” Johnson claims.
It’s a strange suggestion, given that four of the seven new signings are expected to be key players in the coming season; Nathaniel Clyne, who replaces Johnson and is quite clearly going to “walk straight into the team”; Christian Benteke, who cost £32.5 million and is quite clearly going to “walk straight into the team”; Roberto Firmino, another expensive signing who is set to be a key player; plus James Milner, who will start almost every game and has been named as the new vice-captain.
That leaves only Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan who aren’t actually arriving to improve the first XI immediately.
“They’ve lost Raheem [Sterling], who was an important player, so I wouldn’t say it’s a better squad than last year,” says Johnson.
The reality is, Ings is an improvement on Fabio Borini, Benteke is an improvement on Mario Balotelli, Clyne is an improvement on Johnson… the Liverpool squad is far better than 12 months ago.
Meanwhile, Johnson, who left the club after his contract expired, says he turned down a new deal at the club:
“I had a very good time [at Liverpool] and enjoyed the majority of it. But I turned down a new contract at the end of the day, so it ended exactly how I would like.
“When I was fit I was in the team, simple as that. There’s no problems at all.”
“It’s just typical my first game [for Stoke] is against my old club. That’s football and we’ll do what we’ve got to do. It’s my job and I’ll treat it as any other game.”