Jürgen Klopp has confirmed Liverpool will look to bolster their squad this summer with the prospect of more games next season due to participation in Europe – but believes finding that necessary additional quality won't be an easy task.
The Reds can secure a top-four finish – and with it, a place in next season’s Champions League qualifiers – if they defeat Middlesbrough at Anfield this Sunday on the final day of 2016-17’s Premier League.
Should they not achieve that objective, continental football will still be assured for next term, albeit in the Europa League.
And that prospect of competing in an extra tournament, as well as looking to improve the overall calibre of the current squad, means Liverpool will be aiming to expand the ranks ahead of the new season.
However, Klopp is delighted with the options he already has at his disposal and the efforts they’ve exerted over the course of this campaign, and feels the club’s season could have been even more fruitful had luck with injuries been kinder at times.
The manager told Liverpoolfc.com: “I am very happy with the [current] squad. The problem is, I’m not sure if it’s my language or if nobody wants to understand when I say that we could have had a few more points if we would have had more luck with injuries.
“I don’t want to say that was the problem or whatever, but it was the case. We had a season without European football – yes, we had three tournaments, but that’s normal, so I thought the squad was 100 per cent big enough and we had everything we needed.
“[There were] too many injured players at the same moment, especially if they are injured in January or not involved, like Sadio. It is a very intense time, it’s not like we play and then have exactly the same fitness level after the game and then after the next game, after the next game and after the next game. We are not machines. It is really intense what we are doing in this job.
“So that was one problem and having one more player in this moment, yes maybe it would’ve helped, but in a lot of other moments when they were all fit in the early part of the season, I’m not sure it would’ve helped the players to develop in the same manner as they did.
“Of course, we have to improve the squad and of course we have to bring in quality, but you can imagine it’s difficult to find better players than ours because they are already really good. It’s not that there’s weakness here, weakness there, that’s not how pundits discuss it, [they say] ‘he’s not good enough and he’s not good enough’. But if you always judge them in these moments, how could development work then?
“So, so far, so good; squad really good, we want to be better [and] we will be better next year, 100 per cent. That’s the job to do, we need more players of course, because we are in Europe for sure, and so we need more players, 100 per cent. We need a wider squad, and that’s what we will have.”