Jurgen Klopp says he and his coaching staff have already prepared for an eventuality where Coutinho is injured for a long period of time, and admits that this may involve entering the transfer market.
Our Brazilian talisman was stretchered off during the victory over Sunderland on Saturday and is expected to miss around six weeks of action. This means he’ll need to be slowly brought back into the fold at the beginning of January, the same time Sadio Mane will be leaving for the AFCON – meaning Liverpool may sign an offensive player to steady the ship.
Interestingly, Klopp has said he uses some of his time at Melwood to study smaller leagues for potential buys – planning for future incomings ‘all of the time’.
“We have a few hours of training a day, but I’m here for much longer than for training,” Klopp told ESPN. “In all this time, we do different things and a few of these things is to watch the market, watch what’s happening around, scouting, to look at promising players from leagues you cannot watch too often.
“That’s what we do all the time. That doesn’t mean we can take one, but it’s only to be informed — to know about development, strength, whatever and that’s what we do. That’s preparation for a situation that could be in the next transfer window. Actually, I’ve thought before [Coutinho got injured] about it, but it doesn’t mean we’ll do it.
“We have to think about it all the time, to prepare the situation. We’ve already prepared for the summer and that’s how it is. We’ve spoken about the camp, organised the camp for the summer and all this stuff, whether transfers will be done or not, if we have another few injuries or not… We will see.
“Maybe a few young lads now will take the chance because of injuries to other players so then we don’t think about it [making a signing] anymore. It’s not to make a transfer, it’s only if we think the squad needs another player then I think we will do it, otherwise not.”
So far, there’s been concrete links to Sardar Azmoun, Christian Pulisic and Quincy Promes. All are nowhere their potential, have intricate technical qualities and are not yet household names either – fitting in very much with the ethos of a ‘Jurgen Klopp buy’.
We made a profit in the summer thanks to the sales of deadwood, so there’s cash to spend this winter should we want to strengthen. We’d like one additional name to arrive – and think that Dutchman Promes is perhaps the best fit due to his pace and ability to hug a touchline.