Jamie Carragher claims Liverpool’s qualification for the Champions League will be crucial ahead of a summer of change at Anfield.
The Reds beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Sunday to secure third spot and a place in Europe’s showcase competition next season.
The former champions finished 17 points short of Manchester City this season, with their attempt to retain the Premier League significantly hampered by injuries to their three first choice centre-backs – Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
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But a fine run of form at the end of the season means Jurgen Klopp’s side will compete in the Champions League next season.
And former Liverpool star Carragher insists that will be vital ahead of a summer transfer window in which he expects major change.
“I think a lot of people, or definitely the people at Liverpool – supporters, players, staff, they’ve just wanted this season out of the way for a long time, certainly in the last few months,” he said on Sky Sports’ commentary.
“So to come out of it with the Champions League next season, financial gains, in terms of the summer, because there will need to be some changes to the team that Klopp has built in the last few years.
“Georginio Wijnaldum moving on, being one, right through the spine of the team they need players to come in and it’s going to be a lot easier to do that with this result and finding themselves in third position in the table.”
Klopp was delighted at the end of the Palace win, crediting his team with an “incredible” turnaround.
Klopp told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Outstanding, best I could’ve dreamt of – we wanted this feeling, this game, this atmospere.
“Finishing the season in third is incredible, I can’t believe it – credit to the boys I can’t believe how it worked out in the last few weeks, incredible.
“Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips are both cut up and stitched, Rhys hasn’t trained for three days, Gini Wijnaldum leaving the club and we all love him to bits.
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“We will miss him so much, with football it’s normal that people leave, but I will miss him so much.”