Jurgen Klopp hinted during today’s press conference that he is tempted to throw Coutinho in at the deep end at the Etihad.
The Brazilian returned from international duty this morning following two games for El Selecao, but has yet to play for Liverpool this term due to a back problem (and a transfer request…).
But Klopp has claimed our no.10 is in a good mood and was so impressive at Melwood that he could give him a start against Manchester City.
“Roberto played in the second [Brazil] game a bit longer, both [Coutinho] are fit so that’s cool, they’re healthy so we have to see,” he began.
“It’s of course different [to Firmino] because Phil, I know what people think, but Phil had the back problem a few weeks ago…
“He [Coutinho] couldn’t train so that means he missed around about three weeks.
“We saw training this morning & thought ‘OK, maybe we should use him immediately’! We always have the same decision to make, ‘does he need training or can he play?’ & all that stuff. He will now do a little bit more than the other boys but he showed up in a very, very good mood & looks really promising.
“Of course – all good, all good . Nothing else to say, so he’s back & we had a really good conversation, so good.”
We’d love to see Coutinho back in red, in short. When he’s on song, he’s our best player – and that’s including Sadio Mane.
There’s a reason Barcelona were willing to spend £118m on Coutinho and we’re undeniably a stronger side with him included.
Jordan Henderson and Emre Can are automatic picks in midfield, meaning Coutinho could join them in a central three, allowing Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino to continue up top.