Former Arsenal star and current Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has slammed Liverpool’s lack of titles as “a joke” and warned that spending big alongside keeping Mo Salah is their only chance of changing that.

The Reds have enjoyed a relatively successful season domestically, sitting third in the Premier League table, and are in with a huge chance of challenging for the Champions League with a 5-2 victory over Roma in the first led of their semi final.

However, it is coming up to 28 years since Liverpool last picked up a league title, and Merson insists that for a club of their size it is simply not acceptable.

With Manchester City having strolled to this season’s top flight trophy, the former Gunner has shockingly stated that despite the good displays this season, which included wins over Pep Guardiola’s men both domestically and in Europe, Jurgen Klopp needs to spend big this summer – and make sure star man Salah does not leave.

Writing for the Daily Star, he said: “Liverpool have been selling their best players for years. Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho. Even going back to Fernando Torres. If they really want to go for it next season, they have got to keep him (Salah).

“You have to be loyal to your fans. I’ve got older kids who have never seen Liverpool win the league, which is a joke really. At some point you have to stop selling your best players and have a real go. Otherwise what’s the point of supporting Liverpool?

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“I always thought that in a one-off game or a cup tie they could beat Manchester City.But over a 38-game season? No. They are going to need to spend big money to mount a title challenge.

“Their squad is nowhere near big enough to challenge City. They are at least a goalkeeper and a defender short still. If they sell Salah, they might as well forget it. Until Klopp wins it, he’s not a Liverpool great. He’s a footnote. It’s time the club backed him.”

Football Insider verdict

Liverpool will be thrilled with their performances in Europe but as Merson says, it can be quite easy to beat your opponents over two legs – transferring that to a full league season is another matter entirely. Salah has been the main man and if he can show the same form next campaign then Liverpool already have a good base on which to work from. However the matter of big money is not the issue – it is spending smart that the Reds need to work on, and making sure that their big signings live up to expectation. Virgil Van Dijk has done that, as has Salah. Keep that work up and they may well be able to push for domestic success.

In other Liverpool news, the club are chasing a hotly rated international powerhouse giant.

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