clyne: time for reds to step up
New Liverpool recruit insists summer buys are a signal of intent
New Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne admits the Reds have to improve this season but believes their summer recruitment has signalled their intent.
The Southampton right-back became Brendan Rodgers' sixth signing of the close season after completing the paperwork on a five-year contract.
His transfer, costing £10million up front and £2m in add-ons, complements the £29m acquisition of Hoffenheim's Brazil forward Roberto Firmino in addition to the £3.5m spent on teenage Charlton defender Joe Gomez, the arrival of Burnley striker Danny Ings - likely to cost £5million-plus in compensation - and the free transfers of Manchester City midfielder James Milner and Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.
Liverpool are still interested in Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke - although not at the level of his £32.5m release clause - and Clyne thinks the strengthening which has taken place will help as the club seek to regain Champions League status. "There is room for improvement and you can see with the signings that have been made, we're pushing for it," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"If we get a good pre-season out of the way and start the season brightly, it'll be looking good. You can see we've got the players to do it.
"I'm sure with all the competitions we're going into this year, we'll be going into them looking to try and win them.
"That's where I want to be - I want to be competing for all the titles and trophies that are available.
"I've been progressing as a player but I'm fully confident I am good enough to play for a team like Liverpool. What I need to do now is show that.
"Hopefully we can have a good season and come out of it with some silverware."
Clyne, who only made his full England debut in November, will be reunited with some familiar faces in the Anfield dressing room after following in the footsteps of former Saints team-mates Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and - for the time being - Rickie Lambert 12 months later.
While on his summer holidays he spoke to Lallana about a possible move and he is keen to start working with Rodgers as soon as possible.
"He (Lallana) said it's a good club - a big club with a huge fan base.
"He said the team is good and a good bunch of lads. He told me I'd be made to feel welcome if I joined," he added.
"I suppose it'll help me settle down with the team. Knowing a few of the players at the club is good.
"I can join in with the lads and I reckon I'll settle down easily. I'm happy to have signed for Liverpool.
"I'm delighted and it's a dream move for me to come here and play for such a big club like Liverpool with all of its history. I can't wait to get started.
"It's a club that I like the way they play and their style. The gaffer has shown a lot of interest in me and this is a place where I can improve as a player, I think.
"It's definitely a good opportunity to come here and try and fulfil my potential."
While Clyne is just beginning his Anfield career a number of others are preparing for the end of theirs.
With Rodgers' primary summer recruitment almost complete, attention now turns to offloading some of the unwanted players with defender Sebastian Coates first out the door.