Liverpool round-up: Coutinho left out; goalkeeper decision made; Markovic stays
Philippe Coutinho may have returned to training with the Liverpool first team after returning from international duty and the end of the summer transfer window, but he has not been included in the squad to face Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp is quoted by the Express as giving an update on his situation, saying:
“He loves football and he still loves this club so there is no problem. He looks like he is the same Philippe… I am completely fine with this situation. There was another pretty big club and they wanted to have a player from us and there was a club decision. You can’t say ‘no’ and it stops in one day, that’s how it is. You have to go through these times and things can be good if you are smart enough to start again.”
Klopp is clearly open to the idea of Coutinho playing for the Reds again and he could become a key player for the German once again. However, it will clearly take time for him to build his fitness and re-integrate, despite scoring for Brazil against Ecuador during the international break.
Simon Mignolet is expected to return in goal at the expense of Loris Karius, but The Times claim that the German could be the club’s first choice in Champions League fixtures. The move comes after Mignolet was surprisingly dropped for the game against Arsenal, though Karius did not have a save to make.
It makes sense given that Klopp clearly sees Karius as a long term option in goal, and playing at such a high level will help him to develop. By sitting on the bench or only playing lower league opposition in cup games, he would not be given the opportunity to have exposure to high level football.
Friday will see the closure of the Turkish transfer window, the last of any major European league, and the Liverpool Echo say that the Reds expected Lazar Markovic to remain a Liverpool player by the end of the day. The Serbian was expected to depart this summer after several loan spells.
No suitors have been found for the winger, perhaps surprisingly after he did well at Hull City on loan in the second half of the 2016/17 campaign. It still seems unlikely that he will have much of, if any, role to play for the Liverpool first team this season.