Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has told the club’s owners to buy new players.
Liverpool are out of the Champions League and effectively out of the Barclays Premier League title race and Wednesday’s FA Cup third round replay defeat to Reading has left them with just the Europa League trophy to chase.
And Torres wants the club’s American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to back his fellow Spaniard and manager Rafael Benitez.
Torres said: “It’s frustrating. We finished second last season. This season should have been a turning point for us – a chance to do something great.
“Manchester United sold Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo, while Chelsea didn’t sign anyone. But it hasn’t been. It’s now the owners’ turn. They have to sign players so that this does not happen again.
“If we want to compete with United and Chelsea we need a much, much more complete squad. We need more genuinely first-class players and we can’t let our best players leave.”
Torres, currently out with a knee injury, told Four-Four-Two magazine: “We didn’t want to win the Europa League at the start of the season but it’s a reality now.
“Now we have to win it. Anything less than winning the tournament would be terrible. We need to improve, we need to take responsibility and we need to get into the top four and win something.
“We have virtually no chance of winning the title now. Now we need to make the best of this situation.”
Benitez, meanwhile, has been given until the end of the season to justify the club’s faith in him. The Liverpool board is unwilling to change managers during a season and at a time of deep uncertainty over the club’s finances. They are also aware of the cost of sacking the Spaniard less than a year after the manager signed a five and a half-year contract worth more than £4m a season.