MX23RW : Wednesday, October 17 19:00:25

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
1Manchester CityMan City86202131820
2Chelsea86201851320
3Liverpool86201531220
4Arsenal86021910918
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8602157818
6Bournemouth85121612416
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves843196315
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
9Watford84131112-113
10Leicester CityLeicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Burnley82241012-28
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224913-48
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8215813-57
16Southampton8125614-85
17Fulham8125921-125
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8035417-133
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8026613-72
20Cardiff CityCardiff8026417-132

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