Philippe Coutinho has vowed to make a swift return to the Liverpool starting lineup after confirming his shoulder surgery proved a success.
Coutinho is not expected to play before the end of October following an awkward fall at Swansea, but offered hope in an interview with Globo Esporte that his schedule could be revised.
ESPNFC provides the translation:
It's annoying to get injured, especially when you are playing well, but that happens.
I now want to focus on my recovery and do everything right to be back as soon as possible to help Liverpool in the league.
The surgery was a success and this is what matters the most. I'll be back soon.
Coutinho’s importance to the current Liverpool setup has been highlighted in his absence, which has seen the Reds fail to score in over 125 minutes of football.
The Brazilian limped off in the 55th minute of Liverpool’s clash at Swansea, after which the Reds conceded to draw 2-2. They then fell to a 1-0 loss against Southampton on Saturday.
There is little mystery to their struggles without Coutinho. With Steven Gerrard prompting from a deep position, Liverpool need a link man who can knit midfield to attack.
Jordan Henderson is not that type of player, while Iago Aspas is struggling for confidence and physicality in his debut Premier League season.
Brendan Rodgers will likely ask Luis Suarez to fill the void upon his return from suspension, but even the Uruguayan does not boast the effortless vision and game intelligence of Coutinho.
Rodgers’ other option is to show faith in summer signing Luis Alberto, who recently netted a hat-trick for the U21s at Anfield.
Left-back Jose Enrique has already seen enough in the young Spaniard to predict he has a bright future on Merseyside, and Alberto may be handed a start in the League Cup tie at Manchester United on Wednesday after a late substitute appearance against Southampton.
Enrique told the club’s official website:
I didn't know Luis Alberto before he came here, but I know he made a lot of goals and assists for Barcelona B [last season].
He is the type of player who has a really good last pass to find the strikers. He can score goals as well, so he is going to be important for us. He is a young player and will learn a lot here.
The current lack of creativity will likely remind Rodgers of the need to dip back into the transfer market in January, having missed out on both Willian and Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the summer.