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Oxlade-Chamberlain: Coutinho loss won't affect Liverpool Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Friday, 12 January 2018 08:41

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is confident Liverpool are well-equipped for life without Philippe Coutinho, insisting it is "business as usual" at Anfield.

The Brazil playmaker, who contributed 12 goals this season, completed his dream £142million move to Barcelona on Monday to leave a significant hole in Jurgen Klopp's side.

However, Oxlade-Chamberlain, who experienced key personnel like Robin van Persie leave when he was at Arsenal, believes he and the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino can help fill the void without too much disruption.

And the first chance to prove that is at home to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

"I haven't really even thought about Phil leaving," he said.

"You realise it happens but you can't start thinking 'What are we going to do now that Phil is not here?'

"It can't be that at all. It's business as usual.
"When Phil wasn't in the team we still played great football and we have still amazing players who can score goals - the likes of Mo (Salah), Sadio, Roberto.

"The fact is he has gone now and we have to think 'What have we got that is going to get the job done?'.

"I have every faith in the boys that we just move on now. I don't think it should affect us at all.

"When a big player leaves, a big player leaves. You're at a big club like Liverpool, another big player will come in the future.

"I wish Phil all the very best but the only thing I'm concentrating on is Liverpool and winning as many games as we can - starting with Man City on Sunday."

With Liverpool at this moment unlikely to buy a replacement in the January transfer window, Coutinho's departure provides an opening for Oxlade-Chamberlain and others to secure more regular football.

After a testing start to his Anfield career, having arrived on the final day of the August window, the England international is starting to show the sort of form that persuaded Klopp to spend £35m on him.

"Of course it's an opportunity for me, just as it is for all the rest of the boys who want to play there," he added.

"It is our job to keep the wheels moving and momentum going.
"I am the type of person who relishes the chance to stand up and perform under pressure, I have had to do that my whole career.

"I was at a big club previously and being at big one now, you know you are always going to have to perform under pressure."

Oxlade-Chamberlain faced growing criticism in his first few months as he adapted to a new playing style under Klopp.

However, he insists he ignored the doubters as he had total faith in himself and his manager.

"There was a lot of controversy and talk, maybe it's a time when you just want to get your head down and settle in," he said.

"There's a lot of noise around what's happening and that can make things a bit difficult.

"I didn't mind too much people talking because I knew that's what would happen.

"Once you clear that ridge and focus on getting your head down and playing more, I feel that's where I am now."

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    New Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho has told Liverpool fans he hopes they understand why he left for the Nou Camp in a £142million switch.

    The 25-year-old Brazilian's five-year stint at Anfield ended at the weekend when Barca finally struck an agreement with the Reds, making Coutinho the second most-expensive player of all time after they were paid an initial £105m up front.
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    "On the pitch and off the pitch, we have experienced the beauty of this club and its fans. In turn, I hope I have delivered memories and moments that have brought happiness to the Liverpool supporters.

    "Moving to Liverpool, I knew the club's greatness and history but what I did learn during my time was the unique heart and soul of the place. It has its own personality and character.

    "I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me. Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it. A career on the pitch only lasts for so long and to play for Barcelona as well as Liverpool is something I want to experience and enjoy while I am blessed enough to be able to do so.

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    Coutinho ended the post by addressing Reds supporters directly, adding: "I can never thank you enough for what you have given me during this time and no matter where I go in the world, for the rest of my life, I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart. You, the club and the city will always be a part of me."
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    In another Instagram post that contained multiple images of him in a Barca shirt, Coutinho said: "A Dream Come True thank you Barcelona. I can't wait to start my journey with you!"

     

  • HOW NEYMAR'S TRANSFER ALLOWED BARCELONA TO BUY COUTINHO AS PART OF €307M SPENDING SPREE

    The Brazilian became the world's third-most expensive player with his transfer to Camp Nou on Saturday - but how did the Blaugrana fund the deal?
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    Even though Barca have spent significant sums in recent years, the Catalans had never previously undertaken such an outlay: a grand total of €307m on six players – Dembele (€105m), Coutinho (€120m), Paulinho (€40m), Nelson Semedo (€30m) and Gerard Deulofeu (€12m).It is worth noting that the €5m signing of Marlon Santos from Fluminense was agreed before June 30 and, thus, was not included in Barca's summer transfer budget.

    However, must also remember that as well as splashing €307m in fees, Barca have also agreed to clauses that could see them hand over an additional €40m in bonuses for both Coutinho and Dembele, meaning they could end up paying €160m and €145m for the pair, respectively, while there is also a potential €5m to be tagged on to the deal with Benfica for right-back Semedo.

    Nevertheless, the financial impact has been much less severe than those figures indicate - and all because Barca received the vast sum of €222m when PSG agreed to pay Neymar's release clause last August.Of that income, Barca put €198m into their budget for new transfers, with the other €24m used for repayments and other costs.

    Taking that into account, the Blaugrana have a net transfer spend of €114m across the past two windows, which is not too far above their original transfer budget at the beginning of last summer.

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    Still, with Coutinho having now been added to a side presently nine points clear at the top of La Liga, Barca will be confident that their historic investment in their playing squad will reap huge dividends.

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