We can handle Philippe Coutinho's six-week absence, insists Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp

Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool must not use the loss of Philippe Coutinho, who is out with ankle ligament damage until around mid-January, but insisted that the Reds can cope without the Brazilian.

We can handle Philippe Coutinho's six-week absence, insists Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp
(Picture: Getty Images - Clive Brunskill)

Jürgen Klopp is confident that Liverpool can cope in the absence of Philippe Coutinho over the next few weeks after the attacking midfielder was diagnosed with ankle ligament damage. 

Scans to determine the full extent of the injury that the Brazilian picked up in Saturday's win over Sunderland showed that he will be out for around five to six weeks.

The in-form Coutinho has been a key figure for the Reds so far this term. He is currently the club's joint-top scorer, having scored five and assisted five of their 32 goals in 13 Premier League games so far.

But Klopp says they can have no excuses throughout his time on the sidelines, despite how hard his loss may be felt.

German declares that Liverpool cannot use Coutinho absence as an excuse

The manager told reporters that Coutinho is "a really good football player" and that "every team in the world" would feel his absence if they "can't use him for the next few days or weeks."

Yet he was keen to stress that "there is no excuse for anything" because even the No.10 "as good as he is" cannot "decide games on his own" even if Klopp admitted it "looks like that at times."

"He dribbles, he shoots and he is important but it is really a team performance that we have created," continued the German.

He acknowledged that Coutinho is "a very important part of that" but said that they "can handle" his absence, adding: "It's not the best thing I can imagine or dream about, to show that we can play without Phil, but we have to show it and we will show it."

Klopp also admitted that Adam Lallana "is close but not in" and said that Daniel Sturridge "is not in", calling them "all quality players" but saying that Liverpool must not "look for excuses."

He said that they "want to show it's possible to play the way we play football without them" although he said that "of course it is better if they are all fit."

We're always looking at players, it doesn't mean we're going to sign them, says Klopp

The predicted timescale of Coutinho's injury will see him out of eight games, including important clashes with Everton and Manchester City.

He could, though, return for Liverpool's trip to Manchester United on Janauary 15 - provided he suffers no setbacks throughout his rehabilitation.

With Sadio Mane set to miss the month of January due to African Cup of Nations and Danny Ings out injured, Klopp's front-line options have been halved - but he says that doesn't mean he will rush into the transfer market to bring in reinforcements.

He joked: "What can I say so that it isn't the biggest thing in the papers tomorrow? Some of the things we do is watch the market and scouting promising players. We do it all the time."

Klopp added that it is so he and his backroom staff can "be informed" and be prepared "for any situation that can happen", saying that he thoughts about signings before Coutinho's injury but "that doesn't mean we do anything."

He revealed that the club are "already preparing for the summer" in that they are "organising a camp" and looking at "whether transfers will be done or not."

Klopp accepted that Liverpool "maybe" will "have more injuries" or "maybe a few of the younger lads will take their chance", insisting: "You only make transfers if you think the squad needs another player. If not, don't."

We don't have many options up top for Leeds, admits Reds boss

However, the Reds boss did admit that the recent injuries mean he will be forced to name a rotated line-up for the visit of Leeds United in the EFL Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday night.

He said that they are "missing a few offensive players" with Sturridge, Lallana, Coutinho and even Roberto Firmino all set to miss out.

He said that "whichever squad and line-up" they use it will still "be really difficult because of the situation" and because they "don't have a lot of possibilities to change things in the offensive line."

Klopp said that they "need to make decisions" but that "the decisions we make will be about winning the game."