Jurgen Klopp insists that injury to exceptional £65 million player is no excuse to not deliver on title ambitions.
There is no disputing that Philippe Coutinho has established himself as the club’s best player and so when he went down on Saturday screaming for medical assistance it was hugely worrying.
Coutinho went for scans yesterday and it was revealed that the Brazilian will miss 5-6 weeks of football and will be unavailable until early January. There is every chance that the timeline is being overcooked and we could seem him back as soon as late December, but, with a player as talented as Coutinho, no risks will be taken.
When I discovered the length of time that Coutinho will be out for, my initial thought was that it will be difficult for Liverpool to sustain the attacking football that has been on show this season without the lethal number 10.
As Jurgen Klopp has come out and said, however, there is no excuse for this side to not perform without Coutinho. Liverpool swept Leicester aside without the Brazilian when he was fatigued after international duty and they will have to do so again.
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As per The Guardian, Klopp said, “Phil Coutinho is a really good football player and if we can’t use him for the next few days or weeks then every team in the world would feel that. That’s how it is but there is no excuse for anything.
“Phil, as good as he is, cannot decide games on his own even if it looks like that at times. He dribbles, he shoots and he is important but it is really a team performance that we have created. He’s a very important part of that but of course, we can handle it. It’s not the best thing I can imagine or dream about, to show that we can play without Phil, but we have to show it and we will show it.
“Phil’s not in, Adam is close but not in, Daniel is not in; they are all quality players but we don’t look for excuses. We want to show it’s possible to play the way we play football without them, but of course, it is better if they are all fit.”
Klopp, as per usual, is spot on. The team that the German coach has put together operates as one and despite the individual brilliance of Liverpool’s attacking triumvirate, the success of the opening 13 games of the season has only come about because of how each player works with one another.
As Divock Origi’s introduction and winner proved, there is more than enough quality in reserve to combat the injuries and suspensions that are sure to come as the season progresses and the fixtures come thick and fast.
Liverpool take on Leeds United tonight in the EFL Cup and it offers Klopp the chance to rotate his squad in order to field a fresh team for Sunday’s Premier League fixture against Bournemouth.