Jürgen Klopp has no plans to replace Philippe Coutinho | inside World Soccer

Jürgen Klopp has no plans to replace Philippe Coutinho

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has not specifically recruited anyone to replace Philippe Coutinho this summer because such a player does not exist.

Coutinho joined Barcelona in a blockbusting £142 million deal in January, drawing an end to his five-year Anfield career.

The funds raised from the Brazil playmaker's sale have been handsomely reinvested with the mid-season signing of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk for £75 million.

Liverpool have since signed Fabinho, Naby Keïta, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson this close-season and are on the lookout for one further deal before the transfer window closes next week.

Klopp appeared to be on the verge of signing Olympique Lyon's forward Nabil Fekir earlier this summer but the transfer collapsed prior to the World Cup.

The France international seemed destined to fill the void left by Coutinho, but Klopp insists seeking a like-for-like replacement for the former Kop favourite was never part of Liverpool's transfer plans.

Speaking to reporters at their training camp in Evian, the former Borussia Dortmund boss said:

You cannot replace Phil Coutinho with exactly the same kind of player.

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".

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 light. It's not there. But there are a lot of good players and we have brought a few of them in.

Nevertheless, Klopp allowed himself to wonder how May's Champions League final loss to Real Madrid might have played out had Coutinho still been at his disposal.

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 (Mané) to the other side, bring a midfielder on - it's a different story.

It would have been nice but he wasn't here any more. We wish him well.

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