Sep 9, 2017 at 12.30pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 54,172
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Liverpool
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Phil Thompson: 'Philippe Coutinho will be welcomed back'

Thompson: 'Coutinho will be welcomed back'
© SilverHub
Former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson is confident that Philippe Coutinho will be welcomed back by the club's players and fans despite his efforts to leave this summer.

Former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson has claimed that Philippe Coutinho will have no problem settling back into life at the club despite his efforts to leave during the recent transfer window.

Coutinho is understood to have asked for permission to join Barcelona this summer, with some reports suggesting that he was even considering going on strike in the Champions League in order to convince the club to sell.

However, the Brazilian returned to training today and Thompson does not foresee any problems with the players or fans taking exception to his behaviour over the summer.

"I don't think there will be any problems reintegrating him, particular with teammates. What people have to realise is that there's so much more forgiveness in the dressing room, it's more mickey taking than anyone calling him a traitor," he told Sky Sports News.

"A football club is very different to what people envisage and they are all a lot closer, regardless of nationality, and they'll all understand the appeal of Barcelona. It might take a quiet word from the manager to get his head right and I would think, because of the talent, the fans will take to him once again if there's the effort followed by the goods.

"I see him being on the bench against Manchester City, though. If everybody is fit and available after the international break then I think he'll go with the same team after the Arsenal performance and I think Coutinho will be expecting that."

Coutinho is yet to feature for Liverpool this season, having missed the opening three league games with a back injury.

Philippe Coutinho receives a hug from manager Jurgen Klopp after coming off during the League Cup semi-final between Stoke and Liverpool on January 5, 2016
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