'Liverpool title win would make players legends - and Klopp a god'

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Manchester City Champions League
A Reds legend admits big spending at Anfield has raised expectations, with it now up to the players and coaching staff to deliver on that promise

Premier League title success for Liverpool in 2018-19 would make a star-studded squad “legends” and Jurgen Klopp “like a god”, says Ian Rush.

Expectation around Anfield has risen on the back of a productive summer which delivered a £177 million ($226m) spending spree.

While the club have parted with Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can over recent months, those departures have been countered by the arrivals of Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Rush believes the Reds are now well placed to challenge for major honours and land a first top-flight crown since he was playing back in 1990.

The legendary Liverpool striker said in The Mirror: “You’ve seen so many great ­Liverpool players who haven’t won the league. Players like Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Jamie ­Carragher have missed out.

“The current squad has to realise that, if they do win the league, they will become legends. And the manager will be like a god.

“It’s been such a long time since the last title. I was part of that side under Kenny, which won the championship back in 1990.

“If someone had said it would be another 30 years or so before Liverpool won it again, you wouldn’t have believed them. You would have thought they were joking.

“That title in 1990 was the club’s 18th. At the time, Manchester United had won it seven times, but since then they have ­overtaken us and have 20, which, for any Liverpool fan, is hard to take. But that is the stark reality of it.”

Liverpool ICC 2018-08-04

While there is a growing sense of optimism on the red half of Merseyside, there is also greater pressure, with big spending demanding an immediate return on sizeable investment.

Rush added: “Everyone loves Jurgen Klopp. He has been a breath of fresh air. He is charismatic, but, of course, he has to win things. Everybody is behind him, but now is the time where he has to deliver.

“For a few weeks, we had the most ­expensive goalkeeper in the world.

“We also brought in a central defender [Van Dijk] for a world-record fee and, when you do that, you have to look at ­winning major trophies.

“And they don’t come much bigger than the Premier League title, especially when you analyse Liverpool’s proud history.

“Reaching the Champions League final last season was unexpected, but it has served to set the ­standards for the current team.

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“The challenge is to meet those standards – or even better them.

“Ask most Liverpool fans now what they most want to win and I ­believe it would be the Premier League, ahead of the Champions League.

“Liverpool have a good record in the Champions League but the older generation especially would sacrifice that to finish top of the League next May.”