Liverpool need quality additions: Barnes

Liverpool legend John Barnes is excited to see new boy Mohamed Salah in a Reds shirt but thinks the club needs more top players if it wants to win the league.
Liverpool legend John Barnes is excited to see new boy Mohamed Salah in a Reds shirt but thinks the club needs more top players if it wants to win the league.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Liverpool may be returning to the Champions League next season, but to continue improving and land a long-awaited league title, their club great John Barnes believes that they still need to sign top-class talents.

The former England winger is in town for the curtain-raiser event of Singtel TV's Premier League 2017-18 season coverage.

He said yesterday: "We've got a lot of squad players who can be in the team and do well. But I think if you really want to challenge to win the league, we then need to look at players who can slot straight into the team."

By that, he means players with enough quality to make an impact game in, game out during the English Premier League season.

The 53-year-old was in Hong Kong for the Premier League Asia Trophy to see first-hand how his old club, now managed by Jurgen Klopp, were shaping up.

The Reds have made three signings thus far in the summer transfer window - winger Mohamed Salah, forward Dominic Solanke and full-back Andrew Robertson.

He said: "During the Asia trophy when I looked at the two teams, (Klopp) played two different XIs. This means we've got a strong squad.

"Salah suits what Klopp wants, Klopp wants players to be direct, Salah's going to play mainly on the right to cut in and score with his left. I'm pleased at what Salah has done so far and I think he's been a great addition to the squad."

Compared to rival clubs spending big on players, Liverpool's additions have been at much lower prices, but Barnes feels there is no need to break the bank to succeed.

He said: "We have to realise competing financially to get the best players in the world is going to be difficult for Liverpool, because of the financial strength of Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Liverpool fans shouldn't be disappointed if we're not able to get those players. We trust Klopp, and we don't necessarily need to do that."

He also feels that Klopp is "absolutely" moving the club in the right direction, with the German entering his second full season as boss.

"The most important thing for that is we all believe in him... because once you lose the fans it becomes very difficult, and as long as the fans believe in you, you've got a chance.

"Not to say that we're going to win the league this year...

"All we can ask for is for the team to be competitive in every game they play in. That's what Liverpool are."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'Liverpool need quality additions: Barnes'. Print Edition | Subscribe