JURGEN Klopp knows as well as anybody that, whoever he brings in and whoever goes out, his most important piece of business this summer is ensuring that Philippe Coutinho is kept out of the clutches of Barcelona.
There have been rumours aplenty that the Liverpool playmaker will be pursued by the Catalan giants in the transfer window but they will face the most fierce of opposition in the shape of Jurgen the German.
Coutinho is key to Klopp’s future plans and, playing in that No.10 role, as he showed to devastating effect against West Ham, he is virtually irreplaceable.
He seems happy enough in a Liverpool shirt and his teammates clearly love having him around – and putting chances on a plate for them.
Coutinho can score them too, as he showed against West Ham when he was the difference between the two teams as his brace helped Liverpool lay claim to third place in the Premier League.
Arsenal piled on the pressure with their 4-1 win at Stoke yesterday, but the Reds responded in the best and most positive fashion with a massive win at the London Stadium.
West Ham can argue all they like about the penalty they should have got, and which would have put them in with a shout of getting a decent result.
But there is no question that Liverpool were the best side on the day, by a country mile, and that Coutinho was the best player on the pitch – by a national mile. If there is such a thing.
He scored twice within the space of four second half minutes – in between strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi – and Liverpool were more than worthy winners.
The win elevates Liverpool to third place ahead of Manchester City, who have a game in hand. More importantly, it restores their four point advantage over Arsenal, who can close the gap to one point with their game in hand.