Virgil van Dijk has warned Liverpool they must make ‘quality’ signings this summer if they are to get back to the top of the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp’s side chased the quadruple last season but are already resigned to ending the season with just the Community Shield to their name after their Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid followed by FA Cup and Carabao Cup eliminations.
Liverpool sit sixth in the Premier League, 24 points behind leaders Arsenal, and the focus is now on the uphill battle to secure a top-four finish and Champions League football next season – something Van Dijk believes is vital to the team’s future.
“Players are going to leave,” Van Dijk said about the impending exit of striker Roberto Firmino. “That’s been announced so if we want to be where we have been the last five years, we need quality imports, especially with those players leaving.
“Everyone knows that’s going to be very difficult. It is going to be very difficult to find the right players but the club has to do its job in this case.
“We still have a lot of games to play and we want to be in the Champions League. I think that will also help to attract the best players in the world. Not all the time but it will help.”
Liverpool faces Fulham on Saturday before the international break and is braced for some huge fixtures upon their return.
A visit to the Etihad to face Manchester City kicks things off on April 1, before meetings with Chelsea and Arsenal in the eight days that follow.
On Liverpool’s tough run of fixtures, Van Dijk added: “It’s going to be very defining and that’s something we all know.
“It’s been a season where we can’t find the consistency that we have had for the last few years, but we need to get it back. It sounds very simple but it’s the most difficult part of football. The most difficult part of being a footballer is to stay consistent in every game.
“We will give it absolutely everything because I want to play in the Champions League, we all want to play in the Champions League. The fans want to play in the Champions League. We are the players on the pitch, we have to perform and we have to show it but we need also our fans. They have stuck with us in the good times and we need them probably even more this time. We will fight.”