Television pundit and former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes that Liverpool must forfeit their hopes of winning the UEFA Champions League this season, in favour of prioritising the Premier League title.
The Reds had the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table to ten points with a victory against holders Manchester City, but were beaten 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
The Anfield club face Bayern Munich in the Champions League round of 16, and when asked whether the European competition was a possible hindrance for Jürgen Klopp's side, Merson responded, suggesting that the club have to sacrifice their Champions League aspirations for the sake of achieving a first ever Premier League title, since its inception in 1992.
As quoted by Super 6 on Twitter, Merson told Sky Sports Soccer Saturday programme: "Get out of that, get out of it...get out, make history," he remarked, "This club hasn't won the league in 29 years, get out of it, win the league..."
Liverpool went into Christmas at the top of the league for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign, the closest they had ever come to winning the title. They were top towards the latter stages of that season, with three matches left, but after gaining just four points from a possible nine, they succumbed to a second-place finish and fell as runners-up to City, who went on to win the league by two points.
To avoid a similar scenario, Merson insisted that the Reds have to purely focus on their league campaign, seeing it as a historic accomplishment for the club.
"Seriously, these players can go down in history, the club, the managers, what do you reckon? They have got to get out, get out of it.
"You're gonna win the league for the first time in 29 years, you don't realise how big this is, in people's life time."
Merson also indicated that should the Reds choose to pursue the Champions League alongside the Premier League, it would be a 'nightmare' scenario, as a result of a congestion of fixtures and players getting physically drained.
"For me that would be such a... If they got a chance and they go through and get another game, more games for this team would be a nightmare, a nightmare."
Source : 90min