Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hinted at playing Philippe Coutinho in a more central position in the future after the Brazilian forward produced a majestic performance during his side's 4-0 win over West Ham United on Sunday (14 May)
Klopp deployed Coutinho at the tip of a diamond midfield against the Hammers and his tinkering reaped rewards as the 24-year-old scored twice to help the Reds secure the points and edge closer towards Champions League qualification.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss had primarily used Coutinho on the left wing up until the victory at The London Stadium, but spoke of the need to situate his star forward in 'the decisive area' before praising his team for handling the pressure in east London.
"I spoke about the future with [Philippe] Coutinho," Klopp said in his post-match press conference. "He's never a winger, always a playmaker. He needs to be in the decisive area.
"We controlled the game, the dominant side. They had one of the biggest chances I ever saw in my life! Lucky for us. It was hard work, there were a few moments where the game could have changed. Real deserved winner, we played a great football game. The performance is obviously a good sign. We used the good part of pressure."
Along with the change of role for Coutinho, Klopp also saw fit to hand Daniel Sturridge his first start in the Premier League since 2 January. The England international repaid his manager with the opening goal, and although he is expected to leave Anfield in the summer, Sturridge seemed to signal his intent to stay at Liverpool beyond the summer.
"I guess it's one of those things," Sturridge told Sky Sports. "I'm at Liverpool and I'm enjoying my football when I'm playing. The manager's shown faith in me, we have a good relationship as well.
"The fans have been different class so we'll see. I don't have any worries about next season. I'm looking forward to this last game next week, we need the three points of course and we'll be in the Champions League."