Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool need to improve their squad during the summer window, or else they risk being left behind by their Premier League rivals.
The Reds had hoped to launch a serious bid for the top four this season, but despite signing off with a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, they have finished the campaign in seventh position and 12 points off their target placing. However, there have been definite signs of improvement since the turn of the year, with just one defeat in their last dozen games.
Gerrard, though, still feels there is much room for improvement, and he hopes there will be cash available to Brendan Rodgers when the window reopens. Because if they stand still, the England international fears they will fall even further behind the leading pack.
“Since January this team has shown a better level of consistency,” he said. “We’ve shown [UEFA] Champions League form and there is a lot of optimism and positives to take into next season. Our target at the beginning of the season was fourth and we have not delivered that.
“As players we need to take responsibility for that. We finished seventh in the league so there certainly needs to be a bit done. All the other teams will strengthen and we can’t afford to be left behind. I am sure the manager is already thinking about where he needs to strengthen the squad to make up that gap so we compete with the top four.”
Rodgers spent the best part of £30million last summer, when he brought in Joe Allen, Fabio Borini, Oussama Assaidi and Semed Yesil. He added to this during the January window, with the impressive double capture of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho for a combined fee of around £25million. This summer, he will be expected to recoup some of this outlay, with Andy Carroll and Jay Spearing almost certain to leave and possibly even Martin Skrtel.
Goalkeeper Pepe Reina has also been linked with an exit, as Barcelona seek a replacement for wantaway Victor Valdes. However, speaking earlier this month, Rodgers stated that he expects to keep the Spanish international, who has been at the club since joining from Villarreal in the summer of 2005 and remains under contract until 2016.