Philippe Coutinho has become the player under Jurgen Klopp that many anticipated he would become when he joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013.
The Brazilian magician in midfield hasn't always been the star of the show at Anfield, but has exploded into life since Klopp arrived at Anfield little more than a year ago.
So much so that, since the Brazil star picked up an ankle injury against Sunderland on Saturday, pundits and fans alike have thrown the club's title ambitions into doubt.
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Coutinho has been hugely influential for the Reds this season, as the club's top scorer, and also lead what is arguably proving to be most menacing attacking trio in the Premier League.
But while Liverpool will have to face Leeds in their EFL Cup quarter-final without the 24-year-old, who Klopp admits he would have rested anyway, the German has refused to surrender their challenge for silverware without their key man.
As per the Mirror, Klopp said: “Phil Coutinho is a really good football player and if we can’t use him for the next few days or weeks then every team in the world would feel that.
“That’s how it is but there is no excuse for anything. Phil, as good as he is, cannot decide games on his own, even if 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. He’s a very important part of that but of course we can handle it.
“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.”
It is understandable that Klopp is feeling confident about his club's chances after the bright start to the campaign they have made. Only a comeback from Chelsea against Tottenham on Saturday evening could deny Reds top spot, with Liverpool a point behind Antonio Conte's men.
No team has scored more goals than the Anfield outfit this season, with thanks to Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, as well as Coutinho, so far this campaign.
But Liverpool's list of goalscorers backs up the fact that, while they will miss Coutinho's influence on play, they can more than make up for the goals that will be missing from across all areas of the pitch.
James Milner, deputising at left-back so far this season, has already chipped in with five league goals this campaign. While fellow defenders Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren have also found the net at some stage this season.
Luckily for Liverpool, fears that Coutinho broke his ankle have been allayed, although the midfielder will miss between four and six weeks with an ankle ligament tear that will see him miss the Merseyside derby and a big encounter with fellow title rivals Manchester City.
Can Liverpool maintain their position in the Premier League table without Philippe Coutinho? Have your say in the comment box below.
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