Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson believes Steven Gerrard's commitment to stay at the club means he will start the season with a squad stronger than one he inherited from predecessor Rafael Benitez.
Signing midfielder Joe Cole on a free transfer after he was released by Chelsea was a real coup, but convincing Gerrard there was a successful future ahead at Anfield was even more vital.
And, having held positive face-to-face talks with striker Fernando Torres last week, even if Hodgson does lose the battle to keep hold of midfielder Javier Mascherano, he is upbeat about the new campaign.
"It will be a tough season with a lot of matches and the disappointment of last season (finishing seventh) is going to take a while to dissipate," said Hodgson. "But it is very good that our best player is still going to be playing at this club.
"It's a great piece of news and fingers crossed the speculation about Steven will go away.
"The club has made no secret and I have made no secret that I came to work with people like Steven Gerrard, not to see him disappear before I get the chance to work with him. It seems now with that commitment that this will happen. It gives everyone a boost without question."