EPL: Mahrez not right player to replace Coutinho at Liverpool - Michel Owen

Martin Keown Premier League

GETTYMartin Keown says Liverpool can pose a threat to Manchester City even without Philippe Coutinho

The Brazil was undoubtedly keen on moving to Barcelona because of the allure of plying his trade at one of the biggest teams in the world and his high chances of winning major silverware with the Blaugrana.

But his stay on Merseyside could be short-lived, with Madrid keen to bring in a big name to counter Barcelona's signing of Philippe Coutinho.

"That was unlucky, it was an open game".

Much has been made of how Klopp will look to replace Coutinho but while Guardiola believes Barcelona have themselves a fine player he doesn't think the side he has left behind will be much the poorer for his absence.

"But we tried everything".

Lallana has been one of Liverpool's most important players ever since Klopp walked through the door, but now he is needed at his best level more than ever before.

"But then coming here and feeling the spirit immediately, it was just, for me, a match in heaven". The club was fighting until the last second to keep him. "If we do it in this window, I don't know". And who can blame him. He was not ready to do that any more.

That could potentially mean an exit for Daniel Sturridge, with the Reds boss not ruling out the possibility the striker could go on loan or permanently.

"You can't think, 'What are we going to do now Phil isn't here?' When Phil didn't play in some games we still played great football". We all know that. It is mentioned that terms of a transfer are being discussed between Liverpool and Mahrez's camp. But for me? It's business as usual. You need to react. "The owners are completely on my side", he said.

"There will never be a player that can make me retire or kick me out of here".

He also claims how Coutinho's transfer away from Liverpool is bad news for England's top flight.

Liverpool's first chance to prove that is at home to all-conquering Premier League leaders Manchester City, live on Sky Sports Premier League, on Sunday.

Salah's reintroduction is a no-brainer and the reenergised Gini Wijnaldum is likely to join the Egyptian in entering the XI. You miss a person and I'm sure he's missing us - maybe he doesn't realise in the moment when everything is new there!

Coutinho completed his long-rumoured move to Barcelona on 6 January for a reported fee of £142m ($192m) as Liverpool lost the services of one of their key players. But we will not make crazy things.

The Reds want to bring in the Madrid midfielder as part of the replacement for Philippe Coutinho.

"We want to try to be the best".

The 22-year-old Sporting man is an attacking midfielder by trade, and predominantly operates down the right hand flank, although his stats this year aren't quite as impressive as Coutinho's. Nobody told me: "'No way'".

He has 15 goals and 10 assists 77 PL appearances to date including a goal and six assists this season.

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