After withdrawing from the Brazil squad with a groin problem following the match with Everton at the beginning of the month, there were concerns that Reds star-man Philippe Coutinho was set for a spell on the sidelines, but the diminutive midfielder has handed new Reds boss Jurgen Klopp a big boost ahead of his first match in charge with the 23-year old fit enough to take part in the German’s first training session at Melwood.
Working with a diminished squad with most of his stars away on international duty, Klopp, who replaced Brendan Rodgers in the Anfield hot-seat after being officially unveiled on Friday, would have been happy to see Coutinho back on the pitch with the Brazilian unquestionably the best of the worst on Merseyside.
With compatriot Roberto Firmino, who cracked bone in his back during the League Cup meeting with Carlisle United last month, still on the sidelines, Klopp with go into his first Premier League match in charge short on creative midfielders — making Coutinho’s fitness all the more important. The session, which reportedly lasted just over an hour, also featured vice-captain James Milner, who returned early from England duty and Daniel Sturridge, who was left back at Melwood by the Three Lions to build up fitness, as well as defenders Mamadou Sakho, Alberto Moreno, Kolo Toure, Dejan Lovren and midfielders Lucas Leiva and Joao Carlos Teixeira.
The remainder of the squad is expected to link up with the new manager by the middle of the week as the international break winds down, which will give the boss just a handful of days to prepare for his trip to the Capital. Although it’s hard to say for sure at this point, a number of media outlets are speculating that Coutinho, who came through the hour long training session without incident, should be fit to feature at White Hart Lane on Saturday — which is good news all around.