Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool must work harder to land their marquee transfer targets.
The Reds were given a painful reminder of what they could have had on Saturday, when former target Diego Costa fired the winner to send Chelsea 15 points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table.
Rodgers attempted to sign Costa in the summer of 2013, as well as Chelsea winger Willian. The Reds have also missed out on the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexis Sanchez, Loic Remy, Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka during Rodgers time in charge.
And the Northern Irishman admits work must be done to ensure the Reds are able to bring their first choice targets to Anfield.
“We need to be better in the final third with that creativity and the ability to score goals important for us,” he said. “We have signed talented young players and I’m sure over the time – whether that’s with me here or not – they will show that they are very good players.
“We know what targets we wanted and what was out there, but for one reason or another they are not here and gone elsewhere. We work with what we’ve got and look to improve what we’ve got and get back to somewhere near the level we’ve shown over the last 18 months.
“We were in a great position at the end of last season, with Champions League football and a way of working, but we just have to work harder and smarter to convince these players to come,” he continued.
“As I said the club has done everything it could over the course of the summer to get the players who are going to improve us.
“But players look for more than just football terms. They look at where they want to live, they look at all these social factors and that’s something we can’t control. If someone gets offered say more money to come here but they want to go elsewhere, they want to go to London, there’s not much you can do.
“I think the club have shown their hand in terms of they will be prepared to pay the wages of top players, but whether they want to come here is a different matter.
“I think it’s where we’re at.
“We need to work harder and smarter again.
“We have brought in a raft of players who can hopefully develop and mould into a way of working and be better in the future.”