After much speculation and debate, Liverpool have decided that the re-integration of want-away midfielder Philippe Coutinho will have to wait. Following a ‘back injury’ that cleared up the minute he went to play for Brazil, the midfielder – having not got his dream move to Barcelona – looks set knuckle down at Anfield in a bid to win his move next year.
That being said, Coutinho hasn’t featured for the Reds in some time and his lack of comparative fitness – and the clubs strong start to the season – means he misses out for their Saturday cracker against Manchester City.
The playmaker, then, will miss out against a team he has always played well against. Liverpool, while happy to keep their samba star, aren’t ready to put him back in the team just yet. Coach Jürgen Klopp, a fiercely loyal man, is unlikely to drop any of his high performing midfielders or forwards. Add in the new signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, too, and it might be harder for Coutinho to waltz back into the side than he may have one assumed.
He’s watching from the stands on Saturday, regardless. His inability to make the move he wanted most to come through does not appear to have created public acrimony with his teammates, as a happy video of himself and full-back Alberto Moreno appeared.
For Liverpool, though, the onus finally switches back to football rather than transfer soap operas.