BBC pundit highlights telling sign that 25-year-old wants to quit Liverpool
By Abigail Withey
Former Newcastle and Tottenham player Chris Waddle has expressed his doubts about attacker Philippe Coutinho following his absence from the Liverpool squad in their clash against Watford on Saturday.
The 25-year-old’s future with the club has been a talking point over the past few weeks after the Reds released a statement saying Coutinho would remain at Anfield, which was imminently followed by a transfer request from the Brazil international.
Coutinho recently missed out on training and failed to feature in Jurgen Klopp’s squad as they were held to a 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road due to an apparent back problem.
However, BBC pundit Waddle refuses to believe that a back injury was the reason behind his absence and instead believes that it’s a telling sign that he wants to quit the Merseyside club.
Broadcaster Mark Chapman asked the current Hallam manager whether he was doubting the Brazilian’s injury.
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“Yes, I am,” he replied on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Chapman explained that back injuries could come on suddenly but Waddle mocked the Liverpool star and said: “Well, if you sit on a long plane journey from a holiday.”
“I mean, a back injury…wow.
“It’s basically saying ‘I want to be on the next plane out to Barcelona,” Waddle explained.
The former midfielder spoke about the difference in modern football and said he believed Liverpool should let Coutinho leave Anfield to avoid keeping a reluctant player.
“If he stays you’ve got an unhappy player,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“It’s modern day football. It’s not like what it used to be where the club had the power, the players have the power.”
"A back injury…wow!"
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) August 13, 2017
Liverpool suffered with Coutinho’s absence on Saturday, and their 3-3 draw against Watford raised a number of questions about the squad’s defence.
Klopp’s side host Crystal Palace next weekend and will be hoping to improve on their most recent performance despite the ongoing Coutinho saga.
In other Liverpool news, the Reds are battling Newcastle for this teenage striker who is dubbed as the next Andy Carroll.