Speaking to the Independent, as per the Mirror, the former winger has accused both clubs of ‘losing their identity.’
“Even when compared to two or three years ago, both clubs have lost a lot of identity,” the Scouser began.
“When you look at the teamsheets, local players aren’t there.”
McManaman does have a point, with the Mirror pointing out that United forward Wayne Rooney—himself originally from Liverpool—will likely be the only player from either city in action this weekend.
While England internationals such as Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Chris Smalling and Jordan Henderson will feature for the heavyweight pair this season, none are from either of the two north-west cities.
This comes in contrast to the sides of the past, with the great Manchester United side of the late 1990s, for example, featuring figures such as Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville, all of whom came from the Manchester area.
Beyond McManaman, who represented Liverpool between 1990 and 1999, local players such as Robbie Fowler and Jason McAteer also represented the Merseysiders with distinction over the last few decades.
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Similarly, two homegrown talents in Jamie Carragher and Steve Gerrard led the Reds until their departures in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
There is certainly some truth in the suggestion that, with Gerrard’s departure at the end of last season, Brendan Rodgers’s side may well be lacking the local pride that characterised such excellent Liverpool sides of yesteryear.