Jurgen Klopp: What I really thought about Philippe Coutinho leaving Liverpool FC
The Liverpool FC manager admits he was disappointed not to be able to call upon Philippe Coutinho in the second half of the season
Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool FC would have finished higher up the table if Philippe Coutinho had remained at Anfield.
The Reds fended off interest from FC Barcelona in the summer transfer window despite the Brazil international handing in a transfer request.
The Merseyside outfit relented in the January transfer window when Coutinho finally completed a £142m move to FC Barcelona.
Liverpool FC have managed to maintain their momentum thanks in part to the goals of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
The Reds will take on La Liga giants Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev on Saturday in pursuit of a first Champions League trophy since 2005.
While Coutinho brought undoubted talent to the Liverpool FC team, there has been a suggestion that the Reds haven’t really missed the South American playmaker.
However, Klopp reflected ruefully on Coutinho’s absence for the second half of the 2017-18 season.
“What do we do?” Klopp told the Daily Mirror. “We brought in Naby Keita already, an outstanding player. We will bring in a couple more players and that will happen.
“But we had the quality of players already to finish the season higher.
“Think about the season we played without Lallana, and half a season without Coutinho. Two of the best players in the whole Premier League. They didn’t play on the pitch for us.
“Can you imagine Phil Coutinho still in the team?
“And we play with the three up front and Phil at eight – that would have been nice!”
Liverpool FC finished in fourth place in the Premier League table to secure a Champions League spot for the second successive season.
The Reds were 7-6 aggregate winners against Serie A giants AS Roma in the Champions League semi-final.
Liverpool FC have never won the Premier League title but finished in second place in 2002, 2009 and 2014.