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PHIL THE VOID

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp vows to replace Philippe Coutinho but claims injuries scuppered title challenge

Brazil playmaker left Anfield for Barcelona in a £146m move and Reds chief is keen to bring in more quality to fill void

Jurgen Klopp has promised to replace Philippe Coutinho this summer.

Liverpool have signed Naby Keita to bolster their midfield but Reds boss Klopp wants more reinforcements after selling Coutinho to Barcelona in a £146million move.

Jurgen Klopp has vowed to replace £146million Philippe Coutinho at Anfield

Reuters
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Jurgen Klopp has vowed to replace £146million Philippe Coutinho at Anfield

Speaking to Robbie Fowler in an interview in the Mirror, he said: “You need additions because in the squad, actually, we need more quality.

“That is not to get rid of players but you have to mix it up a little bit.

“What do we do? We brought in Naby Keita already, an outstanding player. We will bring in a couple more players, that will happen. But we had the quality of players already to finish the season higher.

“Think about the season we played without Adam Lallana and half a season without Philippe Coutinho.


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Naby Keita will arrive at Liverpool to bolster midfield ranks

Getty - Contributor
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Naby Keita will arrive at Liverpool to bolster midfield ranks

James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum are Liverpool's only fully fit midfielders for Real Madrid showdown

PA:Press Association
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James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum are Liverpool’s only fully fit midfielders for Real Madrid showdown

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“Two of the best players in whole Premier League. They didn’t play on the pitch for us.

“Can you imagine Phil Coutinho still in the team? And we play with the three up front [Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah] and Phil at No8 – that would have been nice.”

Klopp has just three midfielders fully fit for Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum are set to start in Kiev while Emre Can and Adam Lallana have just returned from injury.

Klopp added: “Adam, Emre Can, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the last few weeks, having them around would be a big plus and them in the final would be a big plus.

“So to come here without them shows the character in the team and that is the basis for all. Character and mentality, we have it and it makes all the difference.”

Real manager Zinedine Zidane praised Klopp for his work in leading Liverpool to a European final and top-four Premier League spot.

He said: “I don’t know him personally, I’ve never spoken with him but I’ve seen his work and it’s formidable.

“He has shown it over the years, not only at Dortmund but also now with Liverpool.

“I respect him a lot for what he’s doing in the Champions League and Premier League.”


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