Philippe Coutinho has moved a step closer towards his Liverpool return after being named in the club’s Champions League squad.
Though his inclusion comes as no surprise, it defies his apparent wishes with tenuous reports from earlier this summer suggesting he had asked to be left out of the Reds’ 25-man cohort in order to play for Barcelona in the competition. His selection now means he can not play for any other team in this season’s tournament.
— BBC Merseyside Sport (@bbcmerseysport) September 4, 2017
With the transfer window having now closed and Coutinho still at the club, the Brazilian is available for next week’s group stage clash with Sevilla.
Liverpool’s No.10 is yet to play for the Reds this season due to a supposed back injury, but returned in midweek to play and score for Brazil.
Despite his return to fitness, it remains to be seen whether the 25-year-old will be involved in Saturday’s lunchtime game away to Manchester City, let alone the club’s Champions League opener.
The team’s strong form also means Coutinho has a fight on his hands to earn a place back in Jurgen Klopp’s starting lineup, not to mention regaining the backing of supporters.
Regardless of his behaviour, to have his talent waiting in the wings marks a significant boost for Liverpool.