Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain confident Liverpool can still compete, even without Philippe Coutinho

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Depriving their back four of even more of the already scant midfield protection they get probably wouldn't have ended well, but the hope from supporters is that by adding Virgil Van Dijk to the defence and employing a more workmanlike midfield without Coutinho, Liverpool will be able to cut down on the amount of goals they are conceding, certainly away from home.

The Liverpool boss said he wasn't disappointed the player had left and suggested that the player would have been no use to the club in the second half of the season.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he had no option but to sell Philippe Coutinho - and he has not ruled out further departures in January. It's a pretty easy answer.

"I knew when it will come up again in this transfer window, and it came up massively that it will be very difficult to use him in the second part of the season". But we tried everything [to keep Coutinho].

"But I'm not, because we tried absolutely everything to convince Phil to stay here and carry on going the way together with us".

"Definitely Man City, I think they could do with him or someone like him".

"To be honest, it was 100 per cent clear [there was] no chance".

Klopp dismissed suggestions that he was attempting to protect the club by allowing a wantaway player to leave.

"He's never extended, never seems to be running flat out in a race with somebody, never seems to be using all his strength when nudging somebody off the ball and never seems to be under pressure when making passes".

But what does Philippe Coutinho bring to the star-studded Barcelona? We will bring in other players, that's for sure. But for me? It's business as usual. Always they were a good and stable team. "It's all good", he added. "The owners are completely on my side", he said. That would be not too cool.

Barcelona is where the real thing is.

Leicester City attacker Riyad Mahrez would prefer to join Arsenal despite holding talks with Liverpool over a move to Anfield this month, according to the Express.

There have been reports of a few alternatives the Reds are lining up to replace Coutinho.

"We played against each other a couple of times and he's a fantastic player".

"When Liverpool called, I had no chance".

"And replacements, first of all, we have to replace him internally, but we go through with open eyes in this transfer window, as you can imagine. We will not make crazy things". Will it happen? Watch this space. That may make all the difference.

And Hazard has shared his thoughts on Coutinho sealing a switch to the La Liga.

He said, "I'm a player for this club and I've always said that only the best can play for this club".