Brendan Rodgers estimates around half a dozen players may be needed to bulk out his Liverpool squad to the required depth for the Champions League but the manager has no immediate concerns about having to buy in creativity.
"I think with 96 goals in the league we are doing OK in that department," he said. "We will need to bring in players over the summer, and the great plus about being in the Champions League is that it makes it easier to attract the top ones, but we have developed a style of football over this past year that is already being recognised."
Rodgers has made his peace with José Mourinho, recognised the fact that it is his responsibility to find attacking solutions rather than complaining about Chelsea setting themselves up so defensively, and accepted that his ungenerous reaction to last week's defeat at Anfield was born of exasperation due to what was at stake.
Liverpool's manager has calmed down now – "I was probably a wee bit frustrated immediately after the game" – and has moved on to considering how to take the club on to the next level. "We have a way of working and a way of playing that recommends itself to leading players. We have established a reputation as a creative, attacking team that wants to win games and that should stand us in good stead," he said.
"Last summer when we were speaking to certain players they said they respected what we were trying to achieve but they wanted to play at the top level. We are at that level now, ahead of schedule, so I suspect this summer will be a totally different proposition.
"It is a World Cup summer, so most of the best players are going to be in Brazil for a while, but it is the same for everyone else and our recruitment team has already started work. The owners recognise that we will need an injection of quality for next year and I know the profile of the players we will need.
"We are already putting plans in place so it will be the total opposite of my first season here, when players didn't report back until quite late after the Euros and I only had a short space of time to put across my ideas and methods. I had no real time to work then so it was difficult to be at a new club. This summer, we have an established playing style and new players will be able to come in and immediately know what we are all about."
Liverpool's captain, Steven Gerrard, will help any new recruits to acclimatise. He is expected to extend his long service at the club. "I believe Steven will play beyond 2015," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. "He is a player who has really shown his qualities this season. He has dropped into a new position and played it seamlessly."
Rodgers faces another test against a well organised defence at Crystal Palace on Monday. He agrees Tony Pulis has done an outstanding job at Selhurst Park, and noted that when Palace won at Everton last month they not only operated a disciplined low block in defence but were extremely effective on the counter. That was an aspect missing from Chelsea's performance at Anfield, where Mourinho's side might not have scored at all but for Gerrard's slip and Liverpool's subsequent need to throw caution to the wind in the second half, but Rodgers feels that game has already been analysed enough. "It was tough, but we dust ourselves off and go again," he said.
"You are never going to win every game, but it is clear from what we have achieved this season that our methods work. We don't need to change too much; the season we have had has been absolutely brilliant. We are a young team that's coming through, everybody is loving what Liverpool are doing, and now we are in the Champions League. When I was a young coach at Chelsea I used to sit on the sidelines and watch the flag being shaken in the middle of the field with the music playing. Everybody wants some of that and you just hope as a manager that one day you will get the chance to work at that level.
We are there now and it's only my fifth year as a manager in my own right, so hopefully I have got a few more years to get better. What we want to do now is stay at this level, to try and sustain what has been achieved. Of course the Champions League will be a big challenge, but it's one we can enjoy.Taking Liverpool back for the first time in five years makes me immensely proud, but that's for next season. We still have this season to finish first."