Mark Lawrenson has slammed Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho for his below-par performances this season.
The BBC pundit, who spent seven successful years with the Reds during the 1980s, believes Jurgen Klopp will have expected more from the Brazil international after replacing Brendan Rodgers earlier this month.
Lawrenson made the comments before Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Southampton on Sunday, although the former Inter Milan ace flattered to deceive once more against the Saints.
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"How do you solve a problem like Philippe Coutinho? The manner in which Jurgen Klopp utilises the Brazilian will be something to watch over the coming weeks," Lawro told the Liverpool Echo. "Klopp has probably looked at Coutinho's performances over the last few months and thought 'I keep reading about what a player you are, but I'm not really seeing it'.
"I thought Coutinho was wasteful against Rubin Kazan and then disappeared out of the game. This is Rubin Kazan we're talking about. Not a Chelsea or Manchester City.”
Lawro: Coutinho can forget Barcelona move
The retired defender added: ”But that inability to grab a game by the scruff of the neck has been a problem all season.
"I don't think Coutinho is giving the team enough. As for this talk of a possible move away from Anfield, Coutinho needs a bit of a reality check. He ain't going to Barcelona or Real Madrid any time soon."
Speculation may have affected Coutinho
It could be argued that the recent media speculation linking Coutinho with a move to Barcelona - plus comments from the likes of Xavi - has affected the 23-year-old’s focus.
At the start of this season, Coutinho was being talked about as one of the best players - if not the best - in the Premier League, but his performances have not been up to scratch in recent weeks.
Coutinho hasn’t scored in the Premier League since the opening weekend of the season, while his only two assists so far this campaign were both registered in the same match against Aston Villa.
Coutinho will only earn huge move if he shines
In order to get Liverpool’s season back on track, Klopp needs his key players - like Coutinho - to rediscover their best form.
Lawrenson’s right: Coutinho can forget about a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
The only way that will happen is if he becomes the Premier League’s most outstanding player, just like his former teammate Luis Suarez did during the 2013-14 campaign.
Liverpool fans: have you been disappointed with Philippe Coutinho’s performances this season? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!
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