Liverpool attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho will spend six weeks on the sideline due to a suspected ankle ligament damage. The 24-year-old suffered the injury against Sunderland in the Premier League when he challenged defender Didier Ndong at Anfield.
Coutinho underwent several medical tests at Liverpool’s training complex on Sunday. The former Inter Milan player went through a scan on Monday with fears circling around a surgery and a possible season long lay-off, according to Sky Sports.
However, reports were not that bad and the player will not be required to undergo a surgery. But, it will be New Year until the player returns back to action.
Coutinho has been vital to Liverpool’s success in the Premier League this season. The player has made 13 appearances in the Premier League until now in which he has found the net 5 times. The man from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has created 33 chances for his team mates, according to Squawka.
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp doesn’t want to use Countinho’s injury as an excuse heading into the future matches. The former Borussia Dortmund manager said that it is a team performance and the team will be able to cope with the player’s absence.
“Phil Coutinho is a really good football player, so if we cannot use him for the next few days or weeks each team in the world would feel it. But it is no excuse for anything. As good as he is he does not decide games by himself, although it sometimes looks like this.” Klopp said, as reported by ESPN.
Coutinho is not the only attacking player to be missing from Liverpool’s attack of late. The likes of striker Danny Ings, Daniel Sturridge and attacking midfielder Adam Lallana has missed a lot of matches through injuries as well.
Who is Coutinho’s replacement in Liverpool?
Liverpool doesn’t have many options who could fill in the shoes of the missing Philippe Coutinho. Klopp moved Roberto Firminho to the left wing and placed Divock Origi as the striker against Sunderland.
However, this will devoid The Reds of Firminho’s intelligent movement, which is indispensable to the team’s attack. The player’s desire to work when he is without the ball will also be minimal as he has to create more chances as an attacking midfielder.
Coutinho’s absence could prove to be a season defining loss for Liverpool. With the busy festive schedule fast approaching, one would hope that the player’s injury is not as serious as is being predicted.
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