Jurgen Klopp has spoken in length about Coutinho and his decision not to include the Brazilian in our match-day squad to face Manchester City.
Phil returned to training yesterday and is fully fit, but after everything that’s happened and the player’s limited game-time this season, the boss thought it best to save him until a later date – perhaps Sevilla on Wednesday.
“Now, I have decided to leave him out of the squad for City, so we can use this four or five days,” Klopp told the Echo.
“He could have played 15 or 20 minutes, maybe longer, but I think it makes more sense. By the way he agreed completely.
“It was not the most easy time, but that’s the transfer window, but that’s the only time we can make transfers. It is not the first time, nor will it be the last time it happens.
“I think we handled it really well. The newspapers were 100 per cent right, and it is normal that things like this will come up.
“But nothing I am aware of is unforgivable. He came in yesterday, we talked about the situation, and we should use the situation now. We have a wonderful player now who is fit and wants to play for the club. There is absolutely no problem, I am completely fine with the situation.
“It’s a normal situation. We all know about it. There was another pretty big club and they wanted a player from us and it was a club decision.
“In the end things can be good if you are smart enough to start again.
“Is he the same Philippe? How can I say after one 30 minute talk with him and one hour and a half training session? He seems it. We all know about the situation.
“I said to the boys in the dressing room ‘Welcome two new players… Ox and Phil!”
Coutinho, the shy and retiring type, must have absolutely hated his trip into Melwood on Thursday, but we guess he’s brought most of that angst upon himself!
You can be certain that Klopp is managing him excellently though, in an attempt to get him reintegrated as quickly as possible.
The manager knows how special Coutinho can be, with the 25-year-old playing a huge role in our fourth place finish last season.