Michael Mongie discusses whether or not Liverpool can cope without Philippe Coutinho for the next five to six weeks after scans revealed the full extent of his injury.
The hearts of Liverpool fans sank collectively when Philippe Coutinho went down screaming in pain on Saturday afternoon. The Brazilian came away worse for wear from a 50/50 challenge with Didier Ndong and had to be stretchered off the pitch.
In Liverpool’s first 11 Premier League games of the season, Coutinho has been the most influential player and has been directly involved in 10 goals, according to Squawka. His goalscoring form has inspired wins against the likes of Arsenal and he has been involved in just under a third of Liverpool’s Premier League goals.
Without Coutinho, Liverpool don’t just lose a great goalscoring talent but also miss his creative talents and there will need to be more thought put into build up play if teams like Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and Stoke City are to be added to the growing heap of scalps that the Reds have taken this season.
Jamie Carrgagher told Sky Sports that Coutinho’s absence might have huge repercussions for the Reds, saying, “It could be huge. He’s Liverpool’s best player.
“I think Liverpool’s XI, playing week in week out, can match up to almost any team in the league [but] have they got the squad the other sides have got? I don’t think so, to be honest.
“I go back to last season and the influence of Kevin De Bruyne at Manchester City. He got an injury at a similar sort of time and was out for a couple of months.
“It was a massive blow for City and it really cost them in challenging for the league. City had a better squad last season than Liverpool probably have now.”
As much as I agree with Jamie Carragher about being Coutinho being Liverpool’s best player and that he will be a huge loss, there is more to it than that. The team that Jurgen Klopp has put together is founded on teamwork and thrives on hard work. This means that for the next five to six weeks, the players that Klopp fields will need to be on their A-game to cover for the missing individual quality that Coutinho brings.
When all is said and done, however, there is still plenty of genuine quality in Liverpool’s side and you’d be silly to bet against the Reds on most occasions. Divock Origi came on against Sunderland and proved again that he has what it takes to lead the front line for Liverpool and with Firmino and Mane, there is enough attacking flair and pace to continue in the form that has seen Liverpool climb the league table.
Coutinho’s injury will only serve to further Klopp’s intention to dip into the summer transfer window. Potential targets could be Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic and Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams – both offer serious attacking potential and have great futures ahead of them.
Liverpool face the busy December period without the magic that Coutinho brings to the side, but with Mane and Firmino, there is still a lot to be excited about. Klopp will be looking to get the most out of each player in order to combat the loss of arguably Liverpool’s best player but there really should be no doubt that the squad on hand can cope without Coutinho.