Jurgen Klopp told to build Liverpool FC defence worthy of Philippe Coutinho

Garth Crooks wants to see Liverpool FC improve their defence to convince Philippe Coutinho to stay at Anfield

Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho Photo: The Sport Review

Jurgen Klopp needs to build a Liverpool defence worthy of Philippe Coutinho, Garth Crooks has claimed.

The Reds managed to keep their Brazil international at Anfield beyond the summer transfer window despite Barcelona’s numerous attempts to sign the number 10.

Coutinho even handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to the Spanish giants but Liverpool refused to change their stance.

The 25-year-old made his return to the Liverpool starting line-up at the King Power Stadium last month and scored a brilliant free-kick in a 3-2 win at Leicester City.

Coutinho has since found the back of the net in his next two games against Russian side Spartak Moscow and promoted side Newcastle United.

Liverpool have struggled with defensive problems in the current campaign and the Reds have already conceded 12 times in seven games.

Klopp failed to sign top target Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in the summer transfer window to leave the Liverpool boss with centre-halves Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan.

Former Spurs forward Crooks urged Klopp to finally improve Liverpool’s defence if the Reds want to keep Coutinho in their squad in the long-term.

“If performances like this continue you will either burn him out or he will become disenchanted,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Manager Jurgen Klopp must now fulfil his side of the bargain with Liverpool having held on to Coutinho, and ensure he has a defence worthy of playing with the Brazilian.

“Otherwise, what is the point of the little magician scoring breathtaking goals, if his team can’t defend a lead when he does? There’s no point keeping him.”

Coutinho scored 13 goals and made seven assists in 31 games in the Premier League last season.

The Brazilian forward moved to Liverpool in an £8.5m deal from Serie A giants Inter Milan in the 2013 January transfer window.

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