Kenny Dalglish
John Barnes feels Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has not had much luck with his transfers. REUTERS

Liverpool legend John Barnes believes the club must secure at least three world-class players in the summer if they wish to challenge for a top four spot in the Premier League next season.

Kenny Dalglish has already spent well over £100million so far on transfers, after replacing Roy Hodgson as the Reds' manager in early 2011, with Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates coming to Anfield.

But Barnes emphasised the need for marquee signings as yet another disappointing league campaign for Liverpool has become worse in recent weeks, with five defeats in the last six matches.

"Liverpool need better quality players, not squad players," ESPN quoted Barnes.

"While they expected that to be Carroll, Henderson, Adam and Enrique, they need three players who are true first team players.

"Those new players should not be rotated, they should be the main players. Liverpool need more creative players because if Suarez doesn't score and Gerrard doesn't drive forward and score goals, [they struggle]," the 48-year-old opined.

Barnes does not want to criticise Dalglish and feels the manager has not had much luck with some of his transfers.

"They need more attacking players, someone with a bit of flair in midfield and another goalscorer, a real centre forward.

"When you look at the top five sides, Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham I don't think Liverpool have a better squad than them.

"Hopefully with Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jose Enrique they can show the form from last year which made Liverpool sign them in the first place. Let's wait for another season before we make judgements of them."

"All Liverpool fans will have wanted it to work straight away and it hasn't, so let's support them and give them a year to bed in. Let's see what happens next year," Barnes added.

Barnes, who primarily operates as a left winger, joined Liverpool from Watford in 1987 and spent ten years at Anfield, winning two league titles and two FA Cups. The former England international played 314 league matches for Liverpool, scoring 84 goals.