Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool had “no other option” but to let Coutinho leave

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool had “no other option” but to let Coutinho leave

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool had “no other option” but to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

Coutinho joined Barcelona earlier this week for a fee reported by BBC Sport to be £142 million, making him the second most expensive footballer ever behind Neymar.

Liverpool convinced the Brazilian to stay last summer, but Klopp has revealed there was no way of stopping him leaving this month.

“There was no other option,” the Reds boss told reporters, as quoted by Sky Sports. “We tried everything to convince him to stay here and carry on together. It was his dream and it is the truth when I say he would only leave for one club.

“I knew it would come up again in the transfer window and I knew it would be very difficult.

“He wasn’t ready to do it anymore. He did fantastic in the first half of the season after what happened in the summer.”

Time for the Ox to step up?

With Coutinho gone, perhaps Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be given the chance to make the central attacking midfield position his own. But how does he compare to Barcelona’s newest recruit?

Key passes (top) and chances created per 90 mins

As the graphic above illustrates, Coutinho is considerably more productive than Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita, creating more chances and producing more key passes per 90 minutes.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s numbers are similar to those of Naby Keita. The RB Leipzig midfielder will join Liverpool next summer, but the Telegraph claims the deal could be pushed forward.