4 Things Liverpool Must Do If They Are to Compete for Domestic and European Honours

Once the news broke that Liverpool had sealed the £75m transfer of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, a collective sigh of relief was expelled by fans who had been calling out for a marque centre-back signing for some time.

Jurgen Klopp finally pulled the trigger on signing a defender of genuine quality, and with the arrival of RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita at the end of this season for an initial £48m, the future appears to be rosy for the Anfield side. 

These big-money acquisitions - although needed - will not completely fix some of the deficiencies that Klopp's side still possess and need to be addressed if they are to be taken seriously as challengers for the Premier League and UEFA Champions League in the near future. 

Here are four things Jurgen Klopp needs to do at Liverpool if he is to do just that:

1. Continue Squad Investment in Key Areas

It would be safe to assume that despite the recent signing of Van Dijk, the Dutchman will not magically transform Liverpool's defensive fortunes. One swallow doesn't make a summer after all. 

The Reds are still in desperate need of a new goalkeeper, with the likes of Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius failing to establish themselves as the regular first choice stopper, due to their inconsistent performances in recent seasons. 

A genuine holding midfielder is also another position that Klopp should look at strengthening, as Liverpool lack a specialist in that department; even with the impending arrival of Keita.

Klopp may also think about another addition at the heart of his heart, although may be more patient following the world-record fee for a defender that they've recently shelled out, instead prioritising a goalkeeper and holding midfielder as a matter of urgency. 

2. Manage Games From Winning Positions

For all the excitement and entertainment that Liverpool provide in their games week in and week out, their 'gung-ho' approach means they have garnered an unwanted reputation for squandering points both domestically and in Europe. 

In total, the Reds have dropped 10 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season; with their recent games against Everton and Arsenal the latest in a catalogue of mismanaged games. The 3-3 draw against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League after squandering a three goal cushion however, is arguably the stand-out collapse this season so far. 

Individual errors, poor decision-making, and naive defending have been the recipe for disappointing results this campaign.

3. Reshuffle Behind the Scenes

Jurgen Klopp has a tight-knit backroom team that have been together since his managerial beginnings at Mainz 05 in 2001. 

Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz have assisted Klopp at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and now Liverpool as assistant manager and second assistant coach respectively. Referred to as "the brain" and "the eye" by Klopp himself, although his assembly doesn't lend itself to ideas being offered from outside that committee. 

Someone from a different background or way of thinking could help Liverpool - with the suggestion of a defensive coach not an outlandish thought - especially if said person is a former player for example, someone who can connect with the fans instantly. 

When Gerard Houlier was named Liverpool manager outright in 1998, he brought in club legend Phil Thompson alongside him and the pair working wonders despite their different backgrounds. 

Who's to say something similar could not work today.

4. Keep Hold of Star Performers

Perhaps the most important on the list and arguably the most difficult, Liverpool desperately need to keep hold of their top stars if they are to have any chance of competing for Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles in the near future.

The performances of Mohamed Salah this season, scoring 17 league goals and five Champions League goals have alerted the likes of Real Madrid among others. 

Unfortunately, this doesn't look like it's happening. Emre Can appears to have agreed a deal with Juventus , while Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona is edging ever closer .

What Liverpool manage to keep will be very important to shaping their future.