By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Liverpool’s owners must invest £200million in the squad if Jurgen Klopp is to turn the team into title contenders, according to Alan Hansen.
The Anfield legend is convinced his old club require major rebuilding under Klopp but warned Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group could be reluctant to sanction more big spending after having their fingers burned by a series of poor signings.
Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League table, nine points off fourth spot, and Hansen believes at least five signings are needed to transform a mediocre squad.
“These players are not going to win the league, so realistically they probably need five major signings,” Hansen told the Independent. “Jurgen Klopp will have taken the job already knowing who he wants to bring in. The owners have brought him in and now they need to back him, but the problem is the money.
“From what I understand Fenway Sports Group have told the manager it is not a bottomless pit. So the problem he might have is that the owners have invested so much already, will they be reluctant to do it again? They have spent a lot – £20million on Lazar Markovic, and then he was sent out on loan.
“You could say they need to spend £100million, but where does that get you in today’s market? If they are going to have a real go it needs to be more like £200million – but you can’t just snap your fingers and solve the problem.”
Liverpool’s defensive problems have hindered the team all season, with opponents taking advantage of their susceptibility to set pieces.
Hansen, who won three European Cups and three league titles during his 14 years at Anfield, does not believe the centre-backs and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet are up to scratch but admitted recruiting better players is difficult.
Hansen explained: “The problem with Simon Mignolet is he’ll go on a good run and then a bad run, but the question is whether there is anyone out there who is better. Do you give him more time? If you look at someone like David De Gea, when he was first at Manchester United he was called the worst goalkeeper in the world. Now he’s being called the best in the world.
“The manager will have to be looking at two goalkeepers and a centre-back. But like with the goalkeeper situation I can’t think of too many decent centre-backs out there. You need a centre-back partnership to be successful and Liverpool have not had one for a number of years. I look at Wes Morgan and Robert Huth at Leicester and how successful they have been. That’s what Liverpool miss.”