Coutinho named in LFC Champions League squad
Despite Philippe Coutinho’s many efforts to leave the reds throughout the summer period, he now finds himself in the squad facing Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday the 13th of September. As a result of the failed attempts by Barcelona to prize the Brazilian away from Anfield, Coutinho has been placed in a squad where centre-attacking midfielders are in surplus, particularly with the arrival of Oxlade-Chamberlain and the return of Adam Lallana in the coming months. Despite these concerns for Coutinho and his club, his composure led him from the bench to scoring in Brazil’s 2-0 victory against Ecuador in the World Cup Qualifiers last week. In displaying class amongst turmoil, the 25 year-old number 10 has provided Klopp with enough justification for his name to be included in their twenty-five man squad list.
Manager Jurgen Klopp stated that “Liverpool got what they wanted” as Coutinho’s departure remained incomplete. However Coutinho must be taking into account that his appearance for Liverpool in the Champions League will render an appearance for any other club in the competition impossible for the rest of the season, further cementing his stay with the reds. It’s important that Coutinho doesn’t crack under the pressure of discontent in returning to Anfield. Particularly if he still wants to move to Nou Camp in the future. He must remain in form to keep himself relevant to the Spanish Side (as well as other options that may present themselves). This may prove more difficult than anticipated for Philippe Coutinho as Liverpool (unbeaten thus far) have only improved since their unexpected draw to Watford at the beginning of the Premier League season, with solid victories over London sides Arsenal and Crystal Palace all without the help of the 'magician' himself.
LFC dominated their previous Champions League opponents Hoffenheim with wins both home and away, the absence of Philippe hasn’t proven to be so much of a disadvantage. Particularly as new arrival and player of the month nominee Mo Salah settles in, assuming the role of a playmaker and Oxlade-Chamberlain finds his feet at the club with evidence of encouragement from Liverpool great Steven Gerrard as he declares to the Liverpool Echo; “He's a very quick and exciting player. It seems as if he wasn't happy at Arsenal, so now hopefully he can settle down, give the best years of his career at Liverpool Football Club”. Coutinho must now exceed his potential not only to keep other side's’ interest but to ensure he doesn’t become a permanent fixture on the Liverpool bench.
Sevilla, also unbeaten thus far, have come away with more draws than Liverpool but they will still be hoping to provide plenty challenges for Klopp’s side next week. Both for club and for player, this news could have arrived at the perfect moment. In Coutinho being named, the squad have yet another reliable and well settled player. And for his sakes, if Coutinho makes the final XI at Anfield perhaps he will gain a new found motivation to perform to the best of his ability as he gets a taste for the Spanish game. Only time will tell.
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