Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has admitted that his team may have benefited from the decision to sell Philippe Coutinho to Spanish giants, Barcelona , saying his team has become more unpredictable without the Brazilian playmaker.
Liverpool fought tooth and nail to keep Coutinho away from Barcelona but ultimately failed, and agreed to sell for £138million in the January transfer window.
However, the midfielder’s departure has coincided with an upturn in their form.
Although still wishing he had the services of Coutinho, Klopp says he is delighted with how the Liverpool players have responded to losing a key star and says that shared responsibility is making them harder to play against.
“Phil Coutinho was a very dominant player in our game and maybe when we were not at our best it was always a good idea to give him the ball. When Phil didn’t play, we always had to do the job differently,” Klopp told reporters ahead of his side’s Premier League game against Newcastle United on Saturday.
“The players are smart enough to use good players in the team. For Barcelona, if you see [Lionel] Messi then you know it is probably a good idea to give him the ball. That’s how it is and that’s what we did with Phil.
“Now we spread the responsibility between the players and that has worked well so far, but I’m only interested in how it works tomorrow.
“On a good day, it makes you more unpredictable if you don’t have a dominant player, but on another day you miss that player.”
There are already fears that elite clubs are eyeing big-money moves for more Liverpool top players, such as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but Klopp believes it will take more than just finances to keep them at the club.
“Of course we want to keep them, but they all have long contracts so it’s not like we have a big rush to do it tomorrow. We are in constant talks, but our first job is to create something that everybody wants to be part of,”he continued.
”There are a lot of football clubs around and if they pay then it’s normal that a player thinks about it. We cannot convince them with money, we have to do it with the football. I believe it is a really interesting project here at the moment.”