With Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho estimated to be sidelined for six weeks after the Brazilian was stretchered off the pitch during the early stages of the Reds win over Sunderland at the weekend, there have been suggestions that the club will look to add to their attacking options to not cover for the 24-year old, but to offset the loss of fellow forward Sadio Mane as he goes for glory at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“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,” explained Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. “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 because he takes the ball, dribbles and shoots,” added the German manager. “He is a very important part of this team, absolutely, but of course we can deal with it.”
Second in the Premier League going into a meeting with AFC Bournemouth at the weekend, the Reds have mounted a strong challenge for the title with a front three of Coutinho, compatriot Roberto Firmino and Mane leading the charge. Angling for their first title of the Premier League era, the Reds will want to do everything they can to not disrupt their momentum, but Klopp has confirmed they won’t be drawn in to the market unless necessary and has hinted that the kids may be given a chance rather than drafting a new player in to fold.
“Of course, transfers will be done or not. If we have another few injuries or not, we will see,” mused the German manager, staying as non-committal about the whole thing as possible. “Maybe a few young lads take the chance because of injuries of other players, so then we don’t think about it anymore. It’s not to make a transfer, it’s only if we think the team needs another player, the squad needs another player,” added Klopp. “Then I think we will do it; if not, then not.”