Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has warned Manchester City that Jurgen Klopp’s close-knit team are determined to stay together until they win the Premier League. City pipped Liverpool to the title on the last day of the season with a 4-1 win at Brighton that rendered the second placed Reds’ victory against Wolves irrelevant.
Liverpool finished just one point behind City, but despite the agonising near-miss, morale among Jurgen Klopp’s team remains high as they prepare for the Champions League final against Tottenham on June 1.
And Scotland captain Robertson is confident Liverpool’s key players will remain at Anfield for the long-term, making them perfectly placed to renew their rivalry with City for years to come.
“We are a tight-knit group, a young group, so hopefully we will be here for many years and we will be a better team in terms of maturity and experience next year,” Robertson said. “It is an incredible squad and I love being a part of it. I am sure we have learned a lot of lessons this season, and we just need to take that into next. Fingers-crossed we don’t lose anyone. We are a tight group and we don’t want to lose anyone. We will go into next season as strong as ever.”
With a second successive Champions League final on the horizon, Robertson’s fellow Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk feels this season is the beginning of something special at Anfield. Van Dijk also referenced the spirit within the club as a whole, and the relationship the players have with supporters as being key to that success.
“With the level we have shown this season, the consistency we have, we have to build on it, try to do it again next season,” Van Dijk said. “That’s what we all aim for, and I am looking forward to it already. There is a togetherness we have throughout the whole club. It is also the connection we have with the fans that helps us through tough, tough moments, through tough games. The fans will always be there and that’s is a special thing to know, and one of the big reasons I joined Liverpool.”
City manager Pep Guardiola admitted Liverpool had given them their toughest test, forcing them to win their final 14 league matches to finish on 98 points — the second highest total in the Premier League era. Liverpool finished 25 points ahead of third-placed Chelsea and 31 in front of sixth-placed Manchester United.
Robertson backed Liverpool to stay a step ahead of the chasing pack next term and made it clear City can expect another powerful challenge from Merseyside. “Man City know, hopefully, we are here to stay. We know they are definitely here to stay, they are incredible,” he said.
“It’s been a very good season for us and we have just fallen short to a world-class team. Ninety-seven points wins every single league apart from last season so if we do that again we will keep knocking on the door and we won’t be far off it. “Man City were 14 games unbeaten and for them to do that without dropping a point was incredible. Fair play to them. All the teams have to catch us as there was quite a gap between second and third. They all need to come up to us, and if they do, it will be an incredible title race next season.”
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