At £142m, you would expect Philippe Coutinho to have been a crucial player for Liverpool, but the stats suggest that Liverpool have actually been better without the Brazilian this season.
The first game of the post Coutinho era couldn’t have been any more difficult on paper, a home fixture against the unbeaten league leaders, Manchester City. However, the Reds produced a phenomenal result in a scintaliting 4-3 victory.
Coutinho wouldn’t have played in the game regardless of his transfer, with him completing his move to Barcelona despite carrying slight injury. However, the stats suggest Liverpool have been much better when the Brazilian wasn’t in the side compared to when he was, winning more games, and scoring marginally more goals.
Points per game: 1.8
Goals per game: 2.1
Points per game: 2.4
Goals per game: 2.2
Much has been made of ‘who will Liverpool sign to replace Coutinho’ in recent weeks, but as the stats above show, they already potentially have the players to deal with his loss.
I’d even go as far as saying that Klopp brought in Coutinho’s replacement last summer in the form of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The former Arsenal man scored the opener for Liverpool with a fine strike against City, as well as grabbing an assist in what was an excellent all round performance.
He rejected a move to Chelsea, who wanted to utilise him as a wing back, with the England man wanting to play in a more central role, and with performances like that, he deserves plenty more opportunities.