Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool will challenge for major honours next season, despite Jürgen Klopp’s frustrations in trying to land two choice targets, Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool have added to their record signing, Mohamed Salah, and Dominic Solanke in their ranks this summer and hope to conclude a deal for the Hull City left back Andy Robertson. The club has also refused to concede defeat in the pursuit of Keita in spite of RB Leipzig’s repeated insistence that the midfielder is not for sale. Attempts to add Van Dijk to Klopp’s defence have also been challenged by Southampton, but the Dutch international’s future remains uncertain.
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Henderson insists Liverpool will improve on last season in fourth place of the Premier League, regardless of what happens in the rest of the transfer window. The long-serving midfielder Lucas Leiva has flown to Italy to finalise a £5m move to Lazio, having said his goodbyes at Melwood, on Friday.
The club captain said: “We have the very high with the team, the players we have got and the manager we have got. We want to win things. This is the goal. We go into each match and each tournament, we are in wanting to win. We have to set the bar very high. There is a lot of competition for places. We have a fantastic group of players who want a better season this year and we are going to work as hard as we can to impress the manager to get into the team.”
Henderson has suggested that Liverpool, the team needs only fine-tuning after several summers of extensive recruitment. He added: “We always want to improve as a team. We have brought a couple of players and have a couple of players back from injury. Everyone wants to improve and I think we have a young team, getting better and learning. Last year we put them in a good place going forward, and I hope that we will have a better season.”
The England international made his first appearance in five months for Liverpool to Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday, having recovered from the latest foot injury to interrupt his Anfield career. Henderson, who has also featured in the 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic on Friday, trained at Melwood throughout the summer to regain full fitness after being sidelined since February by the problem.
He explained: “I got a bad kick in training on top of my foot. At first, I thought that it was just a bruise but it kept getting worse, and then we had to get a scan and it was pretty bad. This is where it all began. I was devastated. I felt good – the best I’ve ever felt – in order to have a shot like that at the end of the season, it was an important moment for us as a team was a big blow and for me to take.
“I just had to continue to work as hard as I can. I have not been able to return, but he has worked hard over the summer to get back to this point. I don’t remember when I had a pre-season until the end, I hope that I’ll be very, very fit.”