Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes his old team have the makings of Premier League title contenders this season, but only if two key things happen before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
According to Redknapp, Liverpool can mount a serious challenge if they manage to keep Philippe Coutinho out of the clutches of Barcelona and somehow land unsettled centre-back Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
"Keep Coutinho, get Van Dijk. That's a title bid right there," Redknapp told the Daily Mail as he previewed the imminent 2017/18 campaign.
"The Liverpool players I talk to call him 'the little genius'," he added of the Brazilian.
Never far away over the last 12 months, Barcelona have now suddenly been very heavily linked with a move for Coutinho since Neymar's recent exit to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Catalan press has claimed once already, prematurely, that a deal has been agreed, but Livepool manager Jurgen Klopp continues to insist the player is not for sale.
"I am nervous about [Liverpool] because of Coutinho," Redknapp continued. "We don't want him to go, not just because of the club but because of the league. He's a talisman, a superstar."
If Coutinho does go, though, the pundit feels Everton's expected £50m move for Gylfi Sigurdsson across Stanley Park at Goodison should dictate the price.
"If Sigurdsson is £50m, then Liverpool can't sell Coutinho for £100m," Redknapp claimed. "He's got to be worth more than that. They can't allow Barcelona to bully them into this. We are at a crucial point, not just for Liverpool, but for the league. They have to resist. They have to."