Just around a year ago, Robert Lewandowski hailed Liverpool as the "optimal club" for his former manager Jürgen Klopp and predicted good times ahead. It was a heartfelt and confident message in the abilities of a football man Lewandowski knows well. Two cup finals and some big results showed the potential that the Polish international saw, but after Liverpool's eye-catching start to the season, he sees a title challenge ahead.
"Under Klopp I think they (Liverpool) will be fighting for the title this season," the deadly Bayern Munich striker said. "Pep and Manchester City will not make it easy for anybody to win the title, but Liverpool have a real chance.
"Without European football it can really help them with being fresh for games and with injuries and, even though Klopp is always smiling, he is ruthless enough to take advantage of that."
Liverpool have made an excellent start to the Premier League this season with five wins and a draw in seven games. That Liverpool collected seven points from Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea only served to underline the progress made under Klopp. The absence of European football—cited by Lewandowski among others—suggests that the Reds could very well sustain this form.
Manchester City's defeat at White Hart Lane against Tottenham showed that this season will be an interesting one for clubs expected to challenge at the top end of the table. Lewandowski marked Pep Guardiola as the team to beat but knows that Liverpool's players can count on a real "father figure" in Klopp to help the club push on.
"I have watched some Liverpool games since the arrival of Klopp, and you can see that the players are enjoying playing for him," he continued.
"As a player you know that he totally has your back, he is like a father figure and, because you have that trust in him as a player, it makes you totally open to his methods and his ideas which, in the long term, you always see are for the benefit of your game and for the team."
Coming up to the manager's one year anniversary at the club, Liverpool have momentum and belief. Lewandowski was convinced about what the club could achieve a year ago and remains steadfast in his belief that Klopp is a special manager.