Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that Everton can become "the next challenger" for his team in the Premier League under Carlo Ancelotti's leadership.

Everton is currently leading the 2020-21 Premier League points table after winning all four of their initial encounters. The 61-year old Italian was appointed as the Toffees' coach last December. The league leaders are set to host the defending champions in the Merseyside derby on Saturday.

Ancelotti has won league titles across multiple countries, namely Italy, France, Germany, and England. Back in 2009-10, he won the Premier League with Chelsea. Ancelotti happens to be one of only three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League on three occasions. He also has two FIFA Club World Cup titles to his name.

Also, he is only one of two managers to have managed teams in four Champions League finals. With so much coaching success on his crown, the Italian succeeded Marco Silva as Everton boss. Meanwhile, Klopp sounded defensive as he showered praise on Ancelotti.

In an interview with BBC, the Reds manager said, "What I think about Carlo Ancelotti was never a secret. I couldn't respect him more. He's a wonderful human being. When I heard he was going to sign for Everton I thought 'Uhhh, the next proper challenger in line'. They did the perfect business in the summer. They found exactly the players that they needed to improve an already pretty good football team."

Carlo Ancelotti
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti Photo: AFP / Paul ELLIS

Everton finished their 2019-20 Premier League season at the 12th spot. They have failed to finish at a position higher than seventh since 2013-14. It seems that the club is desperate to turn their fortunes this season.

This summer, they signed Allan, James Rodriguez, and Abdoulaye Doucoure, which enhanced their midfield strength. And interestingly, this season so far, Everton has a 100% record after playing seven games across all competitions.

They netted the ball 24 times, with the majority of those coming from England's newly capped 23-year-old striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Calvert-Lewin has already scored nine goals this season, including two hat-tricks.

Klopp admitted that he expected Calvert-Lewin to take big steps in the upcoming years. According to the 53-year old German, Calvert-Lewin fulfils all the criteria to become a top striker. It seems that Saturday's match at Goodison Park might just be the toughest Merseyside derby that the league has seen in years.