New attacker Philippe Coutinho will add an extra level of competition to the Liverpool first team according to manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Northern Irishman swooped for the Inter Milan midfielder on the penultimate day of the January transfer window to further bolster his options after the arrival of Daniel Sturridge.
A previous injury means Coutinho may not be available for as instant an impact as the striker - who has notched four times in six appearances - and the 20-year-old's fitness will be assessed in the coming days.
But the increased battle for places in the starting XI that the signing of Coutinho brings is exactly what the boss was aiming for.
"He had been injured but he trained this morning. He's a young player that I've got very high hopes for," Rodgers told reporters at his pre-West Brom press conference on Friday.
"Daniel was ready to come in and play; with Philippe, we'll see how he goes in the next few days.
"He had a bridging session yesterday - he was with the medical team in Milan, came here and we've assessed where he's at in terms of fitness.
"He trained with the group this morning and we'll observe him over the next couple of days.
"He's a top young player with big experience. Bringing him into the group adds competition. The team that have been involved in the last couple of games have been exceptional.
"It's very important that the players on the side are fighting to get into the team. The key for us all was to build a competitive squad to challenge.
"The players have done remarkably well up to this point, but there's still a long way to go for us - an awful lot of improvements to make, consistency to find. But we're on the right path."
Despite performances deserving of six points from fixtures at Arsenal and Manchester City, the Reds collected just two from the respective journeys to the Emirates and the Etihad.
Rodgers refused to concede defeat in the battle for fourth, however, and says his players are of the same mentality.
"In the Arsenal game we were 2-0 up and bitterly disappointed, but in terms of the performance level I can only be happy," the manager added.
"Even more so after the Manchester City game - I thought we showed incredible character and we were at a high level. Offensively we were very good, but we were obviously disappointed with the goals we conceded. We felt we should have taken more points.
"It's going to be very tough but it's not impossible. The confidence in the team is the important factor and our confidence is good. All of the players want the ball and are working very hard.
"We went to Manchester City and had 22 shots at goal, so we look like we're always going to score goals. There's a real determination in the group to finish the season well.
"It will be a difficult game for us on Monday night. Steve Clarke has done an excellent job there.
"They've not started the year as they would have wanted, and at Anfield there's greater confidence in terms of our game and that's something we want to continue to the end of the season.
"We have nine points difference. We can do it, there's no question about that. We've had a lot of tough games and we've got a lot of rivals for those positions to play at home.
"Our form at home is getting better - we're scoring goals, we're defensively strong, the crowd have been magnificent.
"We sense a real opportunity but it's a lot of points to make up. We're certainly going to fight and accept the challenge.
"It's very difficult to forecast and look beyond West Brom. We've got an important couple of weeks coming up in terms of games. The next game is always the most important."
Those in attendance also quizzed Rodgers about the scintillating form of Steven Gerrard, who has played every single minute of the Reds' Barclays Premier League campaign to date.
The 40-year-old continued: "Steven is probably being highlighted now because of his goals and assists.
"But for me he has been instrumental for a number of months. It was difficult for him at the beginning of the season - a new manager coming in, he had not long returned from the European Championships and he was straight into the big games.
"You have to give great credit to him. He's adapting and modifying his game but has still got the qualities that everyone has always known. It's a massive credit to him and his professionalism. His standard has always been there - this is a guy that has got everything in the locker.
"He's a wonderful professional and a great man off the field; a guy who is a real inspiration for any young player and leads his life the right way. On the field, the range of his passing, his touch, his leadership and his influence is getting stronger."
Gerrard and Glen Johnson both featured for England during the Three Lions' 2-1 victory over Brazil in midweek and the boss revealed how he watched with interest on two fronts.
"Steven was outstanding in a slightly deeper role - the controlling role - which I think he can play as the years go on. He can dictate the rhythm and tempo of the game with his passing and invention," Rodgers concluded.
"Glen Johnson was again phenomenal. In the first half he was up against Ronaldinho and he coped with him very well, while also getting forward. Then he had Neymar to deal with.
"These are guys that are in a good moment and when you're confident you can play a game every day. But, of course, you're always wishing that nothing happens to them, and thankfully nothing has."