Pique backs Maguire to fuel Man Utd title challenge

first_imgBarcelona defender Gerard Pique hopes that Manchester United’s signing of Harry Maguire can help his former club become Premier League title challengers once more.Maguire became the world’s most expensive defender when he moved to Old Trafford from Leicester in an £80 million ($97m) deal earlier this month.Pique believes Maguire’s arrival could have a similar transformative affect to that of Rio Ferdinand when he moved to Old Trafford from Leeds in 2001, as the club chase a first league title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Ferdinand went on to become the bedrock of the United defence for more than a decade, helping the club win six Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.Pique also cited the impact of Virgil van Dijk, who helped Liverpool win the Champions League last season just 18 months after his £75 million ($91.4m) move from Southampton.”It happened before with Van Dijk and before about ten years ago with Rio Ferdinand,” Pique told the Express.”Culturally they invest a lot in good defenders and Harry Maguire is a great defender.”I hope that they can be at the top again.”Manchester United in the last few years they have been fighting to qualify for the Champions League but they have to be trying to win the Premier League. I hope with this signing they can return to the top.”Gerard Pique Manchester UnitedPique began his professional career at Manchester United having moved from Barcelona as a 17-year-old in 2004.He would only make 23 appearances in four seasons for the club though before returning to Barca in 2008.The Spain international has since gone on to enjoy a glittering career at Camp Nou, winning 28 major trophies including eight La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues.Despite only enjoying a brief spell with United, Pique insists he has no regrets about the move.”It was a great time there. I didn’t play as much as I wanted to but I was 17 and very young,” he added. “It was a very important step in my career for the future.”I had an amazing time there with team-mates like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs.”To have the experience of playing with those experienced players helped me a lot for these years when I played here in Barcelona.”Pique’s time at United coincided with the final few years of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s playing career, with the Norwegian now in the manager’s dugout at Old Trafford.The 32-year-old has been impressed with the impact he has made since succeeding Jose Mourinho last season.”I saw him last year in the Champions League tie and I think he’s a great lad and a great guy,” Pique said.”He is doing a very good job at Manchester United, let’s see this season how it goes for him and the team.”last_img read more

‘Liverpool’s target has to be 100 points’

first_imgLiverpool have been told by Jamie Carragher that “the target has got to be 100 points” if they intend on ending their title drought in 2019-20.Manchester City hit that mark in 2017-18, with Pep Guardiola’s side sending records tumbling in the process.The Blues made more history last season, as they swept to an unprecedented domestic treble. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Liverpool intend to break that dominance, but are aware that they will need to be near faultless in order to do that.Jurgen Klopp’s side are yet to drop a point through six games this season, but Carragher believes they may need to become centurions in order to land a first top-flight crown in 30 years.The former Reds defender told Sky Sports after seeing Liverpool dig deep to secure a 2-1 victory away at Chelsea: “It’s a big one. I think with City and Liverpool, even at this early stage, they look at each other’s fixtures and there’s no doubt when one of them goes away from home to another big side, it’s an opportunity for them to drop points.“I think for both sides, whether they get there or not, the target has got to be 100 points. City got 100 points two years ago, 98 last season, and you can only drop 14 points then, so a draw is not a good result.“In the past, 10 or 15 years ago, you go away to United, Chelsea, Arsenal, you get a point and your happy but City have changed that in the last few years, so actually coming away and drawing is not a good result“To actually get to the three points, and don’t forget the record of Liverpool in these games last season, that’s where they lost the league because City came to these grounds and won, so it is a big one.“It’s still an early stage, a long way to go, but it’s a big one for Liverpool. For City watching, they’ve had an easy one at home against Watford, but in a few weeks’ time they’ll have this sort of game where they will have to go away and win.”City threw the gauntlet down to Liverpool with an 8-0 victory over Watford on Saturday, but the Reds offered the perfect response 24 hours later to keep themselves five points clear at the summit. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more