Jürgen Klopp sees potential benefits in switching Philippe Coutinho to a more central role.
The Liverpool No.10 has enjoyed another productive season for the Reds when fully fit and has contributed 11 goals in all competitions from a position typically on the left of the team’s front three – often in tandem with compatriot Roberto Firmino and the Reds’ Player of the Season Sadio Mane.
As Klopp considers ways to mould his side in the seasons to come, though, the idea of withdrawing Coutinho back towards the middle of the pitch – where he has featured on occasion in the past – is a possibility.
“Can we work on different things with Phil? Yes, of course,” said the manager.
“He plays at the moment kind of wing ‘10’ but he can also play as a No.8. That is possible and maybe he will have more influence and we can involve another player on the wing.
“That would make us stronger for sure, having his creativity in the middle of the park. He would have to adapt to that. He is young, full of talent and I’m pretty sure he thinks he is in the right place.”
Coutinho committed his long-term future to the Reds by signing a new contract earlier in the campaign, four years on from his switch to Liverpool from Serie A side Inter Milan.
The 24-year-old knows the role the club has played in his subsequent development into a Premier League star, according to Klopp, with the forward now established as a starter for Brazil too.
“He became this player at Liverpool. He knows about this. That is what is really special about him,” explained the boss. “He really likes being here, it’s not like someone has to force him. His family really likes it too.
“If we develop all our players, they will be decisive players in their national teams. It’s all about the club football then you can make the steps in your national teams. We all know how strong Phil can be.
“We all believe in this project. How I know it in this moment – we all want to be part of it. It is a fantastic club in a good situation, not perfect, but a good situation. We want to improve it but it is in a good situation.”