Coutinho has explained the conversation he had with Jurgen Klopp after the Brazilian left Barcelona to join Bayern Munich on loan this summer.
Following a rough 18 month spell, that despite seeing Coutinho win two La Liga titles, saw his individual stock drop massively, Barca decided to offload the playmaker they spent £142m on.
Liverpool were forced into selling Coutinho for a mammoth fee in January 2018 after he feigned a back injury and handed in a transfer request on the day before the 2017/18 season started – but in hindsight – it was a foolish decision on the player’s behalf…
Phil would have jumped at the chance to rejoin Liverpool this summer just gone, but Jurgen Klopp and the club decided that it was not financially viable – nor a necessity in regards to the squad – considering last term we racked up 97 points and won the Champions League.
‘He sent me a message and wished me luck,’ Coutinho told SportBild.
‘He said that Bayern are a big club and the Bundesliga a great league and that he is very happy to see me there.’
‘Klopp is simply a great coach, one of the best in the world, a real leader,’ said Coutinho.
‘I learned so much from him, especially on a mental level.
‘He always finds the right one words, both before the game and during the game, and he always manages to get you back on track with the next opponent.
‘He changed Liverpool and made them really strong again. It was a big honour to work with him.’
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There was a big part of us that wanted our former no.10 to make an emotional Anfield return, but we can understand the club’s reasons for not going through with it.
After all, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
Phil’s kind words on Klopp show how much he perhaps regrets leaving Liverpool in the first place.
Ernesto Valverde simply didn’t get him or fill him with confidence, unlike our manager, who made Coutinho think he was the best player in the world.
And for a period towards the end of Coutinho’s Liverpool tenure, he wasn’t far off.
Interestingly, he was almost at his best during the six month period before he exited Liverpool, when his heart was already set on Barca.
Nowadays, Liverpool don’t really use a playmaker.
Our fullbacks, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, are wonderfully creative and racked up more assists than any other Liverpool players last season.
They overlap the wing-forwards, who cut inside and get in the box, and deliver crosses or play intricate passes.
Centrally, our midfielders are tactically astute and physical. Fabinho anchors with aplomb, while Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum regularly display insane work-rate and an ability to retain possession under pressure.
What’s more, we have the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita competing for minutes – who’ll hopefully provide some spark and drive from central areas this term.