Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp has written off reintegrating Philippe Coutinho at the club until after the summer transfer window shuts.
Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp will not look to reintegrate Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho into his squad until after the summer transfer window is closed as the no.10 continues to push for a move to Barcelona.
Joyce worryingly adds that this is “not least because Klopp appears to have written off using Coutinho until after the window, which means he will miss the Champions League play-off, second leg, with Hoffenheim on Wednesday and the match against Arsenal on Sunday.”
This comes as a huge blow for Liverpool, especially with the lack of creativity in the Reds’ midfield due to Englishman Adam Lallana currently sidelined for the foreseeable future by an injury.
However, with Coutinho sulking, Joyce highlights the importance of Sadio Mané, who has stepped up remarkably to become the club’s main man.
The Senegalese forward has scored two of the club’s four Premier League goals so far this campaign and was instrumental in their 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim last Tuesday despite not managing to register a goal or assist.
Joyce refers to the winger as “Klopp’s most potent, and most reliable, weapon,” insinuating that as long as he can fire, the club will still find a way to score goals and win games even without Coutinho’s presence. He even goes as far as to suggest “Barcelona have been bidding for the wrong player!”
Joyce reveals that since joining Liverpool from Southampton last summer, Mané has “scored 15 goals in 29 Premier League games… one every 161 minutes.” He continues by comparing these numbers to Coutinho, revealing that the Brazilian has in the same time managed “13 in 31 matches at an average of one every 172 minutes.”
In terms of influencing the collective, the Senegalese also seems to have a more notable impact than his team mate, with Joyce citing the fact that “Liverpool have scored 57 goals when Mané starts, one every 39 minutes, compared with 48 goals when Coutinho begins, one every 45 minutes.”
Whatever way you look at it, the Coutinho situation is both disappointing and frustrating.
The player committed his future to the club in January by signing a new five-year, bumper deal worth £150,000 a week and was quoted as saying he hopes to become a Liverpool legend, helping the club to win trophies.
Now, of course, he’s not going to just sit there and say “actually I just want a nice pay day until Barcelona come calling,” but it still stings.