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'The next proper challenger' | Klopp praise for Merseyside rivals Everton

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

08:52 16 Oct 2020

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp feels Everton are primed to be the next big challengers for the Premier League title, ahead of their clash tomorrow.

The Toffees sit top of the standings at this early juncture, winning all four of their matches so far. Carlo Ancelotti's side welcome champions Liverpool to Anfield tomorrow for an eagerly-anticipated Merseyside derby.

Everton finished 12th in the table last season, and haven't broken into the top six since the 2013/14 campaign.

The Goodison Park outfit spent well in the transfer market, bringing in the likes of James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, Abdoulaye Doucouré from Watford, Brazilian midfielder Allan from Napoli, and centre-half Ben Godfrey in a switch from Norwich City.

Speaking to BBC Football Focus, Klopp says having three-time Champions League-winning manager Ancelotti at the helm could help take their city rivals to the next level.

"What I think about Carlo Ancelotti was never a secret. I couldn't respect him more. He's a wonderful human being.

"When I heard he was going to sign for Everton I thought 'Uhhh, the next proper challenger in line'.

"They did the perfect business in the summer. They found exactly the players that they needed to improve an already pretty good football team.

"Together, getting more used to what Carlo wants them to do makes them a pretty strong team."

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has had an extraordinary start to his season thus far, with the 23-year-old netting 10 goals (including two hat-tricks) to date.

He also scored for England on his senior international debut against Wales this month, a game in which he partnered Southampton's Danny Ings up front.

Klopp says a forward with confidence is a dangerous thing for his side to be coming up against, especially after their 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa last time out.

"Calvert-Lewin, I really expected him to make big steps in the next few years and he did.

"He has everything you need in a top striker: size, mobility, speed, desire, technically really, really good, in the air, finishing with his head, both feet.

"And now it all works together - both wings have top-class players with James and Richarlison. Midfield, Allan plus whoever plays there, if it's Sigurdsson or whoever.

"So it's a really, really good team and the last line works better because in a good team it's easier to defend. That's what you see when you watch Everton, so it will be a really interesting game."

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Read more about

Carlo Ancelotti Dominic Calvert Lewin Everton James Rodriguez Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Premier League

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