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English Premiership

We don’t need to replace Phil, says Klopp

Jurgen Klopp. photo/TEAMTALK

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 31 – Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool don’t need to replace Philippe Coutinho ahead of the 2018/19 Premier League season.

The Reds lost the Brazilian midfielder to Barcelona in January but it hardly stifled their season en route to a fourth placed finish and a spot in the Champions League final.

With just a week to go until the new campaign, Liverpool have added Naby Keita, Fabinho, Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri to the club.

Klopp feels he has strengthened his side sufficiently and will not look for a like-for-like replacement for Coutinho – if such a thing exists.

The manager said: “You cannot replace Phil Coutinho with exactly the same kind of player.

“He’s Phil Coutinho. He has a specific style of play, tactically an outstanding player, can play as the winger, the ’10’, the ‘8’ – really great.

“I don’t want to put one of my players in the position where people will now say constantly ‘he’s the Phil replacement’.

“I think the biggest thing we did in the second half of last season was that we didn’t need to speak too much about Phil. That wasn’t clear in January. How could we have known that?”

He added: “We don’t need to replace Phil. We need to make a squad for the next year. Out there on the market, there isn’t a Phil Coutinho light. It’s not there. But there are a lot of good players and we have brought a few of them in.”

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