Former Liverpool midfielder hails club’s stance regarding Coutinho

Liverpool superstar Philippe Coutinho’s much speculated move to FC Barcelona this summer never materialised.

The Brazil international had handed in a transfer request at Anfield earlier in the summer to force a move to the Catalan giants but manager Jurgen Klopp and club officials were adamant that the 25-year-old was going nowhere.

Liverpool’s unrelenting stance to keep hold of their star performer has been hailed by former midfielder Gary McAllister.

“I praise the owners for keeping [Coutinho],” he said.

“The owners said under no circumstances was he going to be for sale, they stayed strong and they’ve managed to keep him.

“Now the job is to get his mindset, get him focused again and what a great player.”

Coutinho returned to training at Melwood last week and made his first appearance of the club this season as a second half substitute in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw at Anfield against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League group stage opener.

With a very lengthy season ahead which involves a lot of matches, McAllister believes that Klopp will have to make use of each and every player at his disposal.

“That’s the skill of managing,” he added.

“You need a big squad as we’re fighting on all four fronts this season, three cup competitions and the league.

“Keeping all of the players happy is not an easy job.”

Liverpool will return to the Premier League this weekend to host Burnley at home.