MX23RW : Friday, December 14 17:55:35

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
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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