Brendan Rodgers' authoritative business in the summer transfer window has set Liverpool up for the demands of competing on new fronts, according to former midfielder Steve McManaman.

The Northern Irishman has wrapped up seven signings so far ahead of the Barclays Premier League kick-off this weekend and a home opener at Anfield against Southampton on Sunday.

A title challenge and eventual second-place finish last season brought the reward of Champions League qualification, increasing the demands on the manager's squad for 2014-15.

But McManaman, who clocked up 364 appearances at Anfield in the 1990s, believes his old club have the necessary strength in depth to contend with their rivals in all competitions.

"Like most Liverpool fans, I've been really impressed by the business they've done," the 42-year-old told the Liverpool Echo.

"It has made the squad a whole lot stronger and that's vital in order to cope with competing on four fronts.

"The manager had already targeted players and the club went out and got them. He has brought in experienced Premier League players like [Rickie] Lambert, [Adam] Lallana and [Dejan] Lovren.

"Hopefully Lovren will prove to be a leader at the back. He was under the radar at times at Southampton but now he's at a club where the pressure is really on.

"We've also seen young talent come in from abroad like [Lazar] Markovic and [Javier] Manquillo. They will need to adapt and settle in but Brendan will nurture them.

"He needed a significant number to bolster the squad and he has done that. He still has two weeks to improve it further."

The Reds were the division's great entertainers in the previous campaign, surpassing a century of league goals en route to the runners-up spot behind Manchester City.

While aware that the ambitions of their closest foes will increase the size of the task, McManaman expects Liverpool to start strongly by seeing off Ronald Koeman's Saints.

He said: "I think Liverpool are playing them at the right time. They're going into it on a high after the performance against Dortmund and the crowd will be absolutely rocking.

"Liverpool have to be big favourites. I fully expect them to dominate the game and be too strong for them. It's so important you get off the mark with three points and it's a great chance for Liverpool to do that.

"They have looked very sharp in pre-season and the main target this season has to be finishing in the top four. If Liverpool achieve that, it will have been another great season."