Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool can cope in the absence of Philippe Coutinho, who suffered an ankle injury in the Reds’ win over Sunderland on Saturday.
The Liverpool manager was dealt a big blow during Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Sunderland when Philippe Coutinho was stretchered off after a challenge by Didier N’Dong.
Liverpool now fear that Coutinho will miss the rest of the year having damaged ligaments in his ankle, according to The Mirror.
However, Jurgen Klopp does have options to replace the Brazilian and feels that Liverpool are strong enough to show that they can deal with losing Coutinho for a lengthy period.
Coutinho has been in excellent form for the Reds this season, scoring 5 goals and registering 5 assists in just 12 games. Despite his influence, Klopp feels that his team has enough chemistry to continue their excellent form and stay in the hunt for the title.
According to Liverpoolfc.com, Klopp had this to say about the midfielder’s absence: “Phil Coutinho is a really good football player. So if we cannot use him for the next few days or weeks, each team in the world would feel it, that’s how it is.
“But of course I can say now there is no excuse for anything. As good as he is, he cannot decide games by himself, even when it looks sometimes like this. Everybody has to defend so it’s really a team performance that we create.”
“But it was clear that if he is not in, we have to show it and we will show it. So it’s all good from this side.”
Coutinho has been key to Liverpool’s excellent form this season. The Brazilian has adapted admirably to Klopp’s system, contributing both defensively and in the attacking third.
However, with Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge set to return from injury, this will somewhat soften the blow to Klopp’s side. Lallana was also in fine form before an injury interrupted his season, but his return will be a huge boost for Liverpool.
Klopp will still be hoping that Coutinho makes a speedy recovery and picks up where he left off, as Liverpool are also set to lose Sadio Mane in the new year. The Senegalese will compete in the Africa Cup of Nations held from 14th January to 15th February in 2017.
Liverpool next face Leeds United in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, before travelling to Bournemouth on Sunday.