Much work for Rodgers

1 Make sure Suarez stays

A year on, the priority remains the same, Liverpool must hold on to Luis Suarez.

Reports have suggested that the Uruguayan has pledged his allegiance to Anfield, but after a season in which he scored 31 goals in 33 Premier League games, the European powerhouses won't be easily deterred.

Already, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has made the striker his No. 1 target, with a £70-million ($148m) fee being talked about.

Voted this season's best Premiership player by the writers and his peers, Suarez is central to Liverpool's resurgence.

Lose him, and it will be hard to see them improve on this season.

2 Convince owners to spend

Liverpool's title challenge had been helped by a lack of European action, and early exits from the two domestic cups. It was why, despite a shallow squad, they managed to stay in the title chase until the final day.

The last time the Reds won a trophy was in 2012, when Kenny Dalglish led them to a League Cup triumph. Silverware is due, and with Champions League football coming up, there is no way they can fight on so many fronts with the same squad.

Manchester City, Chelsea and even Arsenal look better-equipped than the Reds in terms of squad strength.

The Reds have built a platform that has the potential of propelling them back to the top, and they must not make the same mistake they committed in 2009 when they failed to build on their second-placed finish in 2009.

3 Find Steven Gerrard's successor

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Steven Gerrard, not Suarez, was the Reds' best player of the campaign, and the Portuguese has the backing of a healthy number of Liverpool fans.

The skipper excelled despite being switched to a deeper midfield role, and was instrumental in propelling the team forward in the second half of the season.

But Gerrard turns 34 later this month, and if he's lucky, has another couple of years left at the top level.

Considering his age, and his involvement in England's World Cup charge next month, and it is clear that the Reds risk running him into the ground next term.

Rodgers needs to find a successor for the darling of the Kop fast, maybe someone in the mould of Ross Barkley or Aaron Ramsey.

4 Scout for a leader in defence

The team's capitulation in their 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace highlighted the defensive frailties that have been a feature of their season.

They conceded 50 goals, only three less than 16th-placed Hull City. To not win a match when 3-0 up is criminal at this level.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher spoke of a need to find someone who can inspire confidence at the back.

In the Palace game, the central defence partnership of Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel was a disaster.

Rodgers need only look at champions City, where Vincent Kompany's assuredness is infectious, and he must have that kind of leadership at the back next term.

Word has it that Liverpool are about to make a move for Cardiff defender Steven Caulker.

5 Get rid of Glen Johnson

Johnson has never been known for his defensive ability, an irony since he is a defender by trade.

Sure, he adds another dimension to the attack but too often this season, he has been a liability at the back.

No Liverpool player covered themselves with glory in the 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace, but Johnson was one of the biggest culprits.

6 Provide competition for Simon Mignolet

The Belgian shot-stopper had a decent debut season, but his errors cost the team dear.

Against Aston Villa, City and Chelsea, Liverpool dropped precious points because of his mistakes.

Perhaps he needs some competition to keep him on his toes. Brad Jones, the No. 2, doesn't look capable of doing that.

7n Quickly decide on the fate of loaned players

Rodgers also has to look at some of the players the club loaned out, and decide if they have a future at the club or need further assessment.

Tiago Llori, a defender, and Suso, an attacking midfielder, may be given more time to hone their craft with other teams.

But defender Sebastian Coates and winger Oussama Assaidi's future seem to lie elsewhere.

There are those who have given themselves a chance of returning to Merseyside. Striker Fabio Borini played a key role in Sunderland's miraculous Premiership survival.

Young defender Andre Wisdom is making quite an impression at Derby County, who are attempting to reach the Premier League via the play-offs.

Pepe Reina is the first-choice goalkeeper at Napoli, who are third in the Serie A.

The trio, especially Reina, can provide competition for starting places.

8 Trim the excess

The under-performing players have to go, and there are quite a few.

Striker Iago Aspas hasn't lived up to the ability he had shown in La Liga and was clearly out of his depth when he came on as a substitute in the debilitating loss to Chelsea.

Veteran Kolo Toure is clearly on the wane and didn't start a league game in the final three months of the campaign.

Luis Alberto, the 21-year-old forward, made just nine appearances off the bench and, on each of those occasions, failed to give a good account of himself.

Even Brazilian Lucas Leiva, who had a muted end to the term, looked surplus to requirements in the presence of Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen.

It's been a wonderful adventure for us. We have scored 100 goals which is a remarkable achievement. We know the areas we need to improve on and we will be better.

- Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers (left)

I know we've gone from seventh to second but I am never happy coming in second no matter what I'm playing, whether it's table tennis, cricket or whatever, I don't like losing... I apologise to the fans for not winning the Premier League.

- Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge

This article was published on May 13 in The New Paper.

Get The New Paper for more stories.