Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool are still a couple of 'big players' short of being challengers for top honours.
The Reds are hoping to be in a position to compete for the Premier League title and UEFA Champions League crown in the not too distant future, but are wary of splashing the cash in pursuit of such prizes.
Considered additions are the order of the day at Anfield, with January acquisition Daniel Sturridge another to have been drafted in with the present and future in mind.
Potential will only get you so far, though, and Gerrard has reiterated his belief that experienced players of the highest calibre are required if Liverpool are to re-join English football's elite.
Gerrard told the Sunday Mirror: "In general, I like the direction the club is going in, but the harsh reality is that we still need two or three big players who can help.
"We were short before the last deadline and I think we struggled to find consistency because of that."
While conceding that Liverpool still have plenty to work on, Gerrard is convinced that they are heading in the right direction under Brendan Rodgers.
He added: "I like the new manager's philosophy. I like his style of play.
"The gap between us and, say, Manchester United is now severe, but I believe that, on our day, we can beat any team in the league. What we need to find is that consistency.
"We can actually learn from United. There are games when they don't play well and they still find a way to win. When we don't play well, we don't win. We need to find a way to win games when we're not really at our top level."
Gerrard's personal achievements were recognised by the Football Writers' Association, who made him guest of honour at a gala tribute dinner in London's Savoy Hotel on Sunday evening.