El Hadji Diouf says Liverpool ‘missed the chance’ to win the Premier League last season and will not be able to keep up with Manchester City again in 2019.
The Reds finished second in the 2018-19 standings with a record points haul of 97, just one behind eventual champions City, who successfully defended the crown they won the previous year.
Jurgen Klopp’s men did, however, conquer the Champions League, beating Bayern Munich, Porto and Barcelona en route to the final in Madrid, before edging the showpiece against English rivals Tottenham 2-0.
Many fans and experts have tipped Liverpool to end their long wait for domestic glory next year, but Diouf, who played for the club between 2002 and 2005, is much more pessimistic about their chances.
The ex-Senegal winger claims it is “impossible’ for Klopp’s side to win the league next season after they “missed their chance” last time around.
“They were very good last season. I don’t think they are going to be able to play like that this season,” Diouf told the Daily Mirror.
“They missed the chance to win the title last season, because you know in football every season is different, and if you look at the way they went all out for it last season it will be impossible for them to do it again this season.
“That level they were last season was an unbelievable level and look at the way they lost it, with a point difference, so we have to be realistic to ourselves.
“They have great competitors in City, and they’ve long been a team that has fought so hard for the title, so for me, I maintain that Liverpool will not be able to produce that level of performance they did last season.”
Diouf only managed to score six goals in 79 matches across all competitions for Liverpool and was ultimately branded as a flop, before being shipped off to Bolton Wanderers in 2005.
He publicly criticised Reds legends Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher on a number of occasions after leaving Anfield, but despite his bitterness towards the club, he has been impressed by Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
The dynamic duo have played a key role in Liverpool’s recent success and Diouf went on to praise his fellow countryman and the Egyptian for the impact they have had on Merseyside.
“I think that both Mo and Mane are doing amazing and they are up there flying the flag for Africa,” he added – as per the Mirror.
“The facts are there for everyone to see that at the moment they are two of the best players in the world and their contribution to Liverpool both domestically and continentally cannot be underrated.”