Klopp names one player who could fill Coutinho’s boots

Date published: Thursday 3rd January 2019 10:57

Jurgen Klopp has named one Liverpool player that has the potential to play like Philippe Coutinho at Anfield.

The Brazilian was sold to Barcelona in a deal reportedly worth up to £142million last January and it was feared the Reds would lack creativity without Coutinho.

However, the Reds are now top of the Premier League and could go nine points clear of closest rivals Tottenham if they beat Manchester City on Thursday night.

Xherdan Shaqiri has stepped up since his signing in the summer from Stoke with six goals and two assists in the Premier League.

And with some observers drawing parallels between the Switzerland international and Coutinho, Klopp reckons Shaqiri could one day become as good as Coutinho in his role.

“We did have to find a position for (Shaqiri),” Klopp told Sky Sports in an interview with Gary Neville. “That’s a pretty good one, we tried it in a 4-3-3, he can’t play there yet as a half-space midfielder.

“You don’t want to force a player into a position, you want to show his strengths, not where he isn’t good.

“Xherdan’s main quality is obviously offensive – creating, shooting, finishes, being between the lines – and in a half-space position, there is a lot of defensive work.

“He can do that and he gets better day by day and maybe one day, he could play it like Phil [Coutinho] could play it in the last half year he was here.”

 

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