Jurgen Klopp: How Philippe Coutinho’s return will help Liverpool forward
The Liverpool manager believes Philippe Coutinho's comeback will help Roberto Firmino and the rest of the Reds team
Jurgen Klopp insists Philippe Coutinho’s return from an ankle injury will help Roberto Firmino and the rest of the Liverpool team.
The South American midfielder missed the festive schedule with an ankle problem which he suffered during a 2-0 win against Sunderland at Anfield in late November.
Coutinho and Firmino made an impressive start to the season as their partnership continued to flourish since the appointment of Klopp as manager back in October 2015.
However, the former Hoffenheim forward has only scored one goal in 10 games in all competitions since Coutinho’s injury after the Brazilian netted five goals and made three assists in his opening eight Premier League fixture.
Speaking at his pre-match media conference on Friday, Klopp discussed the impact that Coutinho’s return will have on Firmino and his Liverpool side as a whole.
“It helps the whole team when Phil is in, 100 per cent. But they like each other, of course, and everybody can benefit from Phil’s skills, and the other way round it’s the same,” Klopp said.
“Roberto is really in good shape and, for an offensive player, it’s always important that you score. He played for us more on the wing because Sadio is not here and all that stuff, that changes things a little bit, but not too much.
“He’s often enough in the right areas and he had the pass from Phil in the United game and that was one of the best first contacts in a game I ever saw, actually.
“Unfortunately, [the chance] was not too easy, as I saw after the game. It’s good for all of us that he’s back, but Roberto is still in good shape.”
Coutinho made his return in a 1-0 loss at Southampton in the EFL Cup as a second-half substitute before he was handed a cameo role against Manchester United last weekend.