Jurgen Klopp has said Liverpool need to be watchful with the fitness of Philippe Coutinho after he returned to the club following international duty with Brazil.
Coutinho did not feature in any of Liverpool’s first five games of the season with what the club described as a back injury and then illness, having handed in a transfer request as he wanted a move to Barcelona.
However, the playmaker featured as a second-half substitute twice for Brazil over the recent international break, scoring against Ecuador in a World Cup qualifier.
Klopp was asked about the fitness of Coutinho and Roberto Firmino after their exploits with Brazil and he said: “It’s a little bit different.
“Roberto played in the second game a little bit longer, but both are fit so that’s cool, they’re healthy so now we have to see.
“It’s of course different because Phil, I know what people think, but Phil had the back problem a few weeks ago and couldn’t train so that means he missed around about three weeks.
“Yes, he went to the national team and trained normally, but now we have to prepare for a normal season so we have seven games [before the next international break] and we saw training this morning and thought: ‘OK, maybe we should use him immediately’ because he was really good, but that doesn’t make sense.
“We have now to continue with the preseason, not too long, but in a few sessions we have to give ourselves the time because in the next month we have seven games.
“We always have the same decision to make, ‘does he need training or can he play?’ and all that stuff. Yes, he will now do a little bit more than the other boys but he showed up in a very, very good mood and looks really promising.”