Since the arrival of Coutinho to Liverpool from Inter Milan last season, Liverpool have all of a suddenly transformed from the mere participators which they have been in the last three to four seasons to real competitors. Coutinho was quick to form a strong partnership with English striker Daniel Sturridge which have seen the Reds produce some breath taking performance, a form which they have carried with them into the new season, winning three of their last four matches and a victory over bitter rivals Manchester united inclusive.
Just when things seemed to be going so well for the Reds, Liverpool have confirmed Philippe Coutinho will be ruled out until late October following a shoulder injury he sustained in the 2-2 draw against Swansea on Monday night.
The Brazilian was replaced by Iago Aspas after 55 minutes at the Liberty Stadium after falling awkwardly following a challenge from Swansea skipper Ashley Williams.
The 21-year-old was seen leaving the stadium with his arm in a sling and after the game and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had revealed Coutinho "was very sore in the changing room."
On Monday, Rodgers said he hoped Coutinho's injury was nothing more than bruising but it is now clear the injury was worse than originally feared.
Following an assessment of the injury by Liverpool's medical staff it has been decided that Coutinho will now have surgical stabilisation on the AC joint in his shoulder.
Coutinho arrived at Anfield at a time when fans were crying out for another midfielder who will ease the stress off club captain Steven Gerrard, the little Brazilian came in and immediately has become a fan favourite with his silky skills and fantastic ability to pick out a pass and drop magnificent through balls.
Having just joined in January, Coutinho has made 11 appearances for the Reds, and has been at the heart of all Liverpool attacks.
The number 10 has created 20 chances in his short spell at Anfield, including five assists. That equates to a chance created every 47 minutes, compared to a chance every 87 minutes during his 16 appearances at Espanyol last season
The impressive statistic for Coutinho so far is that he’s creating a clear-cut opportunity for his team mates every 104 minutes. So almost one per game that his colleagues should despatch – although Coutinho’s only played 932 minutes Last season, that frequency was the best in the Premier League.
With Coutinho out, the injury will stretch the Liverpool squad even further after a recent spate of injuries.
Daniel Agger sustained a rib injury forcing him to miss the game at Swansea and defensive partner Kolo Toure has only just returned to action following a groin problem.
Fellow defenders Glen Johnson, Aly Cissokho and Sebastian Coates are all out injured for Liverpool, while midfielder Joe Allen is currently sidelined and Daniel Sturridge has only just come back from a thigh injury.
I know most Liverpool fans were worried how the team would cope without top-scorer Luis Suarez, serving his ten-match ban for biting, in the stands but the more they watched the combination of Sturridge and Coutinho, the more they began to believe that they are just fine without Suarez in the side, dare I say; better? Now with Coutinho out and Suarez yet to come back Liverpool may find it difficult to continue their strong start to the season and may just have found themselves one hand taken off the title challenge ladder a situation which I will simply refer to as "the Disaster of Coutinho's Injury".