Why Liverpool believe they can keep hold of Philippe Coutinho


In a supporters’ Q&A at Anfield this month, shortly after Jurgen Klopp had returned from his squad’s bonding trip to Spain where they watched Barcelona play Borussia Monchengladbach, he was asked how long before his team could compete with the greatest club-side of the modern era. Those present said Klopp was blunt in his response.

The weakened Barcelona team that had played the dead rubber Champions League group match? Klopp said his Liverpool side would have beaten them, even though Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta were in the team. What if Neymar and Luis Suarez were added? The Liverpool manager was bullish. Let us have a go at them and see what happens, was the tone of his answer.

In private Klopp is understood to believe European football is changing, and gradually enough that many have not spotted the subtle shifts he says he can see.