Former Red backs Liverpool to challenge for Premier League next season

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Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James believes the Reds look well-set for a Premier League title challenge next season.

Jurgen Klopp enjoyed an impressive first season at Anfield, despite losing two cup finals, with the team making strides under the German.

A potentially crucial summer of transfer business awaits, while time on the training ground will be a big benefit to both Klopp and his players.

James believes the Reds should feel confident heading into next season, with a lack of European football a boost to Klopp and his side.

“The focus next season without having European football, akin to Leicester, will help Jurgen with his bid to win what has to be the holy grail for Liverpool – the Premier League,” James told TalkSport.

“I’m pretty sure most Liverpool fans would rather have a Premier League title rather than another Champions League title at the moment because it something that Liverpool haven’t won.

“The progress last season was great because if you think about the amount of rotations he made… he gave everybody a chance to prove themselves and in the end they missed out on winning two trophies in the final.

“I think next season will be a good one for him. The recruitment will be key more importantly the quality of the coaching on the training field will put Liverpool in a good position to challenge.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, May 13, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Final against Seville FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

James isn’t the only person to talk up Liverpool’s chances next season, with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry also tipping the Merseysiders to be a major force in 2016/17.

“If I was one of the players now playing for the other team, they’re going to have a pre-season together, he’s going to bring people along,” Henry told Sky Sports back in April.

“Next season they will challenge for the title I think under Klopp.”

It certainly should be a fascinating season, with Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho in charge at Man City and Man United, respectively, and Antonio Conte joining Chelsea.

Arsenal will still be in the mix, as they invariably are, while Tottenham have one of the best young managers in Europe in Mauricio Pochettino.

James is correct in his views about a lack of European football for Liverpool, with a week’s break between matches making a huge difference.

You only have to look at Liverpool in 2013/14 to see that, with Brendan Rodgers’ squad keeping fresh and avoiding injuries, as they nearly won the Premier League title.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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