That’s according to former Reds striker Dean Saunders, who says they don’t need Philippe Coutinho because Naby Keita will have a bigger impact next season.Coutinho’s Barcelona future is up in the air after just 18 months at the Nou Camp. Despite claims from the player’s agent that he will stay at the club next term, reports have indicated Barca would sell him to free up funds to sign Neymar or even include him in a player-plus-cash deal.After agitating for a move the previous summer, Coutinho secured a £142million switch to Barca in January 2018 from Liverpool.The acrimonious nature of the Brazilian’s departure saw him booed upon his return to Merseyside with the Catalan heavyweights in the Champions League semi-final back in May.Yet with Barca reportedly willing to offload the 27-year-old – who has failed to meet expectations for the La Liga champions – Liverpool have been touted as a potential destination.It was widely reported that Coutinho told Liverpool that Barca were the only club he would leave for with the South American drawn to the Blaugrana in a similar way that Luis Suarez, his former team-mate at Anfield who he reunited with in Spain, was four years earlier.Yet while there have been suggestions Coutinho could be available for around £100m, Saunders has urged Klopp to ignore any possibility of a return for the player because he thinks Keita can become an increasingly important player for the European champions.The attack-minded Guinean midfielder scored three goals and laid on one assist in 33 appearances across all competitions in his first 12 months at the club as he endured mixed spells of success. Keita saw his best run of form cut short by injury in April, with the 24-year-old missing the Champions League final as a result. But having had time to acclimatise and adjust to Klopp’s particular demands, Saunders believes the former RB Leipzig star can become a pivotal player for the Reds as they chase a first Premier League title in 30 years.Asked about signing Coutinho, Saunders told talkSPORT: “Liverpool haven’t missed him. They lost one game all season and lost the league by one point when Man City won each of their last 14 games, so they didn’t bottle it.“Positionally have they missed him? No. [Sadio] Mane, [Mohamed] Salah and [Roberto] Firmino are the front three, and [Divock] Origi and [Xherdan] Shaqiri have come in and done their bit.“If you were critical, they may be lacking a really inventive midfield player. [Georginio] Wijnaldum, [Jordan] Henderson, [James] Milner, Fabinho – they’re all workman like.“But I think we’ll see more of Keita this season; he was brought in to carry the ball, go into the last third and make things happen.“What a good deal it was – they sold Coutinho for £142m and they signed [Virgil] van Dijk, Fabinho, Keita, Shaqiri, Alisson… and won the Champions League!“Great business, well done Jurgen Klopp. You get lots of criticism in football, but that was a good move.”In addition to Keita, Liverpool will also have a fully healthy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in their squad after missing the bulk of last season with a knee injury that restricted him to just 105 minutes of first-team action.In the previous season, the former Arsenal midfielder overcame a slow start to blossom under Klopp, producing five goals and eight assists in 46 games before his year was ended in April by a knee injury that damaged his cruciate and medial ligaments plus the tendons to his hamstring.  



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