Klopp denies THT Firmino suffers without Coutinho
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists that forward Roberto Firmino has coped just fine without compatriot Philippe Coutinho. Firmino has only scored once since Coutinho picked up an ankle injury at the end of November against Sunderland.
In Coutinho’s absence, Firmino has moved out of the false 9 role and into a wider position, with Origi or Sturridge coming in upfront. This has led to some pundits connecting Firmino’s decreased productivity with the absence of his fellow Brazilian in the forward line.
However, his manager Jurgen Klopp refutes this suggestion, “I don’t think so. We have a few players who play every time. Roberto had a few moments where he didn’t score or lost the ball. He is in good shape and hopefully he can start scoring again. He doesn’t depend on another player. When Phil is at his best, the whole team is better and benefits.”
Coutinho has now returned from injury, with substitute appearances against Southampton and Manchester United and 65 minutes against Plymouth in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening. Coutinho is expected to start the Reds’ match against Swansea on Saturday.