New Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne admits the Reds have to improve this season but believes their summer recruitment has signalled their intent.
The Southampton right-back yesterday became Brendan Rodgers’ sixth signing of the close season after completing the paperwork on a five-year contract.
His transfer, costing £10 million (€14m) up front and £2m (€2.8m) in add-ons, complements the £29m (€41m) acquisition of Hoffenheim’s Brazil forward Roberto Firmino in addition to the £3.5m (€4.9m) spent on teenage Charlton defender Joe Gomez, the arrival of Burnley striker Danny Ings — likely to cost over £5m (€7m) in compensation — and the free transfers of Manchester City midfielder James Milner and Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.
Liverpool are still interested in Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke — although not at the level of his £32.5m (€45.9m) release clause — and Clyne thinks the strengthening which has taken place will help as the club seek to regain Champions League status.
“There is room for improvement and you can see with the signings that have been made, we’re pushing for it,” he said. “If we get a good pre-season out of the way and start the season brightly, it’ll be looking good. You can see we’ve got the players to do it.
“I’m sure with all the competitions we’re going into this year, we’ll be going into them looking to try and win them.
“That’s where I want to be — I want to be competing for all the titles and trophies that are available.
“I’ve been progressing as a player but I’m fully confident I am good enough to play for a team like Liverpool. What I need to do now is show that. Hopefully we can have a good season.”
Clyne, who only made his full England debut in November, will be reunited with some familiar faces in the Anfield dressing room after following in the footsteps of former Saints team-mates Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert.
Clyne added: “I suppose it’ll help me settle down with the team. Knowing a few of the players at the club is good.”
While Clyne is just beginning his Anfield career defender Sebastian Coates is leaving for Sunderland, where he spent last season on loan.
The 24-year-old Uruguay international, who had a year remaining on his contract at Anfield, has signed a four-year deal and joins for an undisclosed fee understood to be in the region of £2m (€2.8m).
Elsewhere, Aston Villa are believed to be on the brink of completing a £9m (€12.7m) move for Lille’ midfielder Idrissa Gueye.
The 25-year-old Senegalese, who has played more than 130 games for Lille since joining in 2010, is believed to be flying to Britain today for talks and a medical.
Meanwhile, Swansea have announced the signing of Portugal striker Eder for an undisclosed fee.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved