Glen Johnson has risked angering his former manager Brendan Rodgers by claiming Liverpool do not have a stronger squad this season - despite spending millions on the likes of Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne over the summer.
Johnson, who left Anfield for Stoke City last month, believes most of Liverpool’s signings will not be automatic starters.
Furthermore, the 30-year-old feels the departure of Raheem Sterling - who left Liverpool for Manchester City this summer - is a significant loss for Rodgers’ side.
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“They've made some signings, but not ones that are going to walk straight into the team,” Johnson was quoted as saying by the Mirror. “They've lost Raheem (Sterling), who was an important player, so I wouldn't say it's a better squad than last year.”
Johnson will come up against his former employers later this afternoon - and the full-back has his sights firmly set on helping Stoke City get off to a winning start to the new season.
“It will be key for them to get off to a good start, but we want to be difficult to beat and try to improve on last season's points tally,” Johnson added. “That was a record for the club, so if we beat that we will be happy.”
Rodgers needs his signings to impress
Rodgers needs his summer signings to hit the ground running, starting against the Potters this afternoon.
The Northern Irish coach was fortunate to hang on to his job at the end of last season and will soon be under significant pressure again unless Liverpool win the majority of their opening fixtures.
Liverpool fans: is Glen Johnson talking rubbish - or does he actually have a point? Have your say in the comments below!