Europa League

Liverpool cannot turn down quality in any position - Barnes

Liverpool cannot afford to pass up the chance to sign high-quality players at any position, says John Barnes.

A 3-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League final on Wednesday saw Liverpool’s only remaining chance of securing European football for next season evaporate.

Having finished eighth in the Premier League, Barnes is of the opinion that the club should be open to strengthening in any area.

He told Omnisport: “I don’t think that Liverpool are at a point now where we can afford to turn quality down even if it’s not needed, because I think we need to get quality in.

“So for example we may end up with an attacking midfield player, but if one of the better attacking midfield players comes up we are going to get him.

“Obviously we’re looking at the defensive situations, however, the defence has done OK in the last couple of weeks, so I just think it’s in terms of getting numbers in and quality wherever you can actually find it.

“They’re going to have to improve in the league, that’s the most important thing, because if you look at where we are in the league that’s not where we want to be.

“But for that to happen we need to improve the squad. We’ve got [Joel] Matip coming in so I think the most important thing is the acquisitions that can be made before the start of the season.”

Liverpool have been linked with a move for Bayern Munich attacking midfielder Mario Gotze, and Barnes believes he is the standard of player the club should be looking at recruiting.

“Anybody would look at Gotze. I mean he would go to Real Madrid and other clubs as well,” added the former England international.

“As I said, if players of his ilk become available and there’s a possibility of getting them, you may say we need a player in a different position more urgently but if you can get a player like that we should definitely do that.”

Barnes is confident that further additions can help manager Jurgen Klopp guide the team back towards a challenge for the top four positions in the Premier League.

“I’m looking forward to it [next season], the harmony is good, the fans are behind him [Klopp] - even when we haven’t played well the fans have supported him, and with that support you saw us come back against [Borussia] Dortmund,” he said, referencing the dramatic 4-3 victory over the German side in the Europa League quarter-final second leg.

“Now the next step is to improve the squad, get better players and have that harmony of the fans being behind the team who are capable for challenging for a top four position and are capable of going deep into competitions, that is a recipe for a success.”

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