MX23RW : Tuesday, March 26 21:17:53| >> :600:20401936:20401936:

Jurgen Klopp: "You cannot replace Philippe Coutinho"

Klopp:
© Reuters
Jurgen Klopp admits that it is not possible to replace a player of Philippe Coutinho's quality, but declares himself pleased with the signings brought in this summer.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confessed that bringing in a like-for-like replacement to fill the void left by Philippe Coutinho is simply not possible.

The Reds lost the Brazilian playmaker to Barcelona during the January transfer window in a deal worth a reported £146m, which they have since spent on a number of new recruits.

Naby Keita has joined from RB Leipzig, a year on from terms being agreed, while Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri have also arrived at Anfield.

Klopp insists that, despite Liverpool missing out on the signing of attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir, Liverpool were never looking to directly replace Coutinho.

"You cannot replace Phil Coutinho with exactly the same kind of player," he told reporters. "He's Phil Coutinho. He has a specific style of play, tactically an outstanding player, can play as the winger, the '10', the '8' - really great. I don't want to put one of my players in the position where people will now say constantly 'he's the Phil replacement'.

"I think the biggest thing we did in the second half of last season was that we didn't need to speak too much about Phil. That wasn't clear in January. How could we have known that? If we had still had Phil then we could have played with Phil in the final.

"Mo [Salah] goes out [injured], but Phil still there. Phil on the left wing, bring Sadio [Mane] to the other side, bring midfielder on – it's a different story. It would have been nice but he wasn't here any more. We wish him well.

"We don't need to replace Phil. We need to make a squad for the next year. Out there on the market, there isn't a Phil Coutinho lite. It's not there. But there are a lot of good players and we have brought a few of them in."

Coutinho scored eight goals and chipped in with a further five assists during the second half of last season's La Liga campaign.


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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp watches on during the Premier League match against Brighton on May 13, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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