Liverpool need to sign “four quality players worth £50 million each”, says John Aldridge, with heavy summer investment required to make the club Premier League title challengers.
The Reds have made their way through to the Champions League final this season, but have faltered domestically to be left sweating on a top-four finish heading into last round of fixtures.
There is clearly a sizeable gap to be bridged between those at Anfield and runaway champions Manchester City, with funds required in the next transfer window in order to close it.
Aldridge believes Jurgen Klopp's side, who splashed out £75m ($102m) on Virgil van Dijk in January, will require another £200m ($271m) if they are to be competitive – with one deal already in place for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita.
The former Reds striker told the Liverpool Echo ahead of a crunch clash with Brighton: “I'd expect Jurgen Klopp to go strong on Sunday, primarily because he hasn't really got any other choice.
“We don't have a backup plan, we don't have enough players, particularly in midfield. Ben Woodburn could do a job, but not at this stage of the season.
“What it shows is that we need to do some good business once again in the transfer window this summer.
“There cannot be any messing about. We need four quality players, players worth £50m each. That's £200m on new talent. We need the best we can get.
“And that's why beating Brighton is so important. Sure, we can qualify for the Champions League by beating Real Madrid in the final, but it would be a lot easier to defeat the Seagulls at Anfield.
“If we do it on Sunday, then that gives us two extra weeks to agree deals with players in the knowledge Champions League football will be back at Liverpool next season.”
Champions League qualification will be crucial to Jurgen Klopp’s recruitment plans, with the Reds set to fierce competition from domestic and continental rivals for the very best talent available.
They are already being linked with a host of names, but few deals are likely to be done until the European picture on Merseyside becomes a little clearer and a transfer kitty is finalised.