Liverpool can attract top talent, says manager Jurgen Klopp

Klopp and Liverpool's outlook is, indeed, very close; one where Sunday's game against Middlesbrough seems to mean everything because victory against an already relegated opponent at Anfield would secure Champions League football and therefore a summer where a steady development is contemplated.

Liverpool spent big on Sadio Mane last summer but largely failed to bring in the kinds of big names their rivals were landing.

Anfield will play stage to the Reds' chance to fight off competition from Arsenal and secure a place in next season's Champions League.

It all depends on the Liverpool supporter you speak to, but personally a top four finish would be good in terms of the progression of the team under Jurgen Klopp and hopefully we'll have something tangible to celebrate next season. It's pretty easy. I'm not sure if I've said it before on the importance or whatever, but it only could be more important if we thought before another game this season that it was not that important.

Philippe Coutinho was a player who really benefitted from the diamond formation used against the Hammers and was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch, scoring two quality goals in the second half.

Liverpool also have a home game, but while Arsenal play a team in seventh place in the league and one that almost threatened the top six, the Reds host the already-relegated Middlesbrough.

"It should not sound negative", Klopp said, "but if the Champions League is the only reason why a player is coming, it makes no sense for him and makes no sense for us".

If Liverpool beat Middlesbrough on Sunday everyone gets ice cream and the team will qualify for next year's Champions League competition.

Even from outside Liverpool always looked a massive club.

"We would love to be there 19 years in a row from now on".

"[It's] very positive", Klopp said of Firmino's fitness at a news conference on Friday. "Chelsea has the money, Man City is now coming up - wonderful players, big signings - Man United is Man United, but we are a really interesting project". We've made a decision before we go into the talks, of course, because that is always how it is because you commit 100%. The mood is different, a few people are different, but the base is there. I really feel we are already on the way, we started already.

All six of Liverpool's Premier League defeats this season have been against sides now outside the top seven, with their two home defeats coming against 17th-placed Swansea and 13th-placed Crystal Palace.

In an interview with The Times of London at Anfield on Thursday, Klopp spoke about his "privilege" in overseeing Liverpool's footballing fortunes, and his sense of responsibility for his legacy.

In all honesty, I haven't seen Middlesbrough play too often this season.

Vanessa Coleman

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