Mark Hughes, manager of Saturday’s opponents Southampton, says Liverpool have a squad capable of mounting a successful Premier League title challenge this season.
The Reds have set their sights on top spot after investing more than £170million squad over the summer.
It is Jurgen Klopp’s third full season at the helm, and Hughes, a former Manchester United player, says it is high time the Reds end their near three-decade drought.
“I think they are at a point in their development where they clearly need to go for the Premier League title now,” the Welshman said ahead of his side’s trip to Anfield.
“They probably don’t want to say that publicly but I’d imagine – given they haven’t won it for 28 years – that would be one thing that they would like to put to bed and win if they can.
“They have travelled a long way down the road in terms of developing into what they want to be.”
Hughes feels Liverpool’s spending spree was important in that it helped develop a strong starting eleven into a strong squad.
“They’ve thrown a lot of money at it – all the top teams have to otherwise you get passed by everybody else – so at the moment they are as good as they have been for many, many years,” he said.
“You have to say their first XI is very, very strong, as strong as any team in the league but now their squad – which will sustain them throughout the season – that now looks really strong as well, so that could be the difference for them this year.”
Liverpool have won each of their first five Premier League games and sit second in the table, only behind Chelsea on goal difference.
Southampton, meanwhile, are currently 13th, having surrendered a two-goal lead in their draw with Brighton on Monday night.