With a mere two matches left in the Premier League season, Liverpool remain very much in the title conversation with the race likely to go down to the last day. Although that’s sure to suck up the vast majority of Reds boss Brendan Rodgers time, his thoughts are already beginning to shift to the summer and preparing for next season’s Champions League campaign.
On the back of a free flowing attack, the Anfield outfit have sealed a return to Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since 2009 — but Rodgers knows that he’ll need to bolster the squad to compete on what’s going to be an entirely new level for him. “I think with 96 goals in the league we are doing OK in that department,” said the Northern Irishman when asked about summer signings. “We will need to bring in players over the summer, and the great plus about being in the Champions League is that it makes it easier to attract the top ones, but we have developed a style of football over this past year that is already being recognised.”
Liverpool hit a number of road blocks when trying to bring in “marquee” names last summer, but on the back of a very successful season, Rodgers predicts many of them will be removed in the coming transfer window. “Last summer when we were speaking to certain players they said they respected what we were trying to achieve but they wanted to play at the top level” he explained. “We are at that level now, ahead of schedule, so I suspect this summer will be a totally different proposition.”
This summer’s World Cup in Brazil will be both a help and a hinderance; prices can inflate if a player has a good tournament and should their country go on a run, there’s a possibility that they won’t pop up for pre-season until later on in the summer. “We are already putting plans in place so it will be the total opposite of my first season here, when players didn’t report back until quite late after the Euros and I only had a short space of time to put across my ideas and methods” said Rodgers when asked how the Reds will cope with the logistics surrounding this summers show-piece event. “This summer, we have an established playing style and new players will be able to come in and immediately know what we are all about.”