Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Philippe Coutinho will travel with the team to the South Coast, and might be involved in the EFL semi-final clash against the Saints and the Sunday night encounter against Jose Mourinho’s men at Old Trafford.
The Brazilian maestro succumbed to an ankle injury back in November 2016, following a horrendous challenge by Black Cats midfielder Didier N’Dong. The uneventful injury resulted in the Liverpool number 10 missing out on ten games as the Reds suffered unfavourable results against Bournemouth, West Ham, Sunderland and Plymouth during that period.
The former Inter Milan attacking midfielder has become the hottest prospect at Anfield following a string of impressive performances over the past few months. Coutinho has attracted massive interest from European giants PSG and Barcelona having scored 5 goals and assisting another 5 this season. However, injuries have restricted him to just 13 appearances and less than a thousand minutes of Premier League action this season. But his return to the LFC lineup will be a massive boost for their title hopes.
Klopp talked about the difference between being fit and being match fit ahead of the vital clash against Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-final and said, “In this moment I would say it makes sense for him (Coutinho) to be involved against Southampton, in the squad, and we will see what happens there – whether we have to use him or not or whatever. If not, we have another three days to prepare him for United.”
Coutinho’s performances, this season, have seen him ranked as the best attacking midfielder in Europe alongside Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne. The Brazilian was given a score of 89 ahead of the likes of Mesut Ozil, David Silva and Eden Hazard, according to an analysis of players’ performances by the CIES Football Observatory.