EMPICS Sport Glen Johnson has backed Liverpool to shine without Suarez.
Moving On
Liverpool can cope without Suarez, says Johnson
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers is hopeful that Philippe Coutinho will sign a new contract.

Updated at 16.30

GLEN JOHNSON EXPECTS Liverpool to cope with the loss of Luis Suarez as they prepare to launch another raid on the Premier League title.

Suarez was the driving force behind the Merseyside club’s challenge for a first top-flight crown since 1990, scoring 31 Premier League goals as they ended the campaign just two points behind champions Manchester City.

However, the Uruguay star has now left Anfield, signing for Spanish giants Barcelona in a deal thought to be worth around £75million last month.

But while Johnson accepts that Suarez represents a significant loss, the England right-back believes Liverpool — who scored 101 Premier League goals in total last term — can cope following the arrivals of the likes of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert.

“Any team that loses a player like Luis is going to feel it. But we will carry on like we do, creating chances,” he told Sky Sports News.

“I think we were the team who created the most chances last season, we’ve signed some good strikers and I’m sure once they get a chance they will take it.

“It gets overlooked that we played the first six games of last season without Luis and made a fantastic start, so we can clearly win without Luis”.

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers is eager for Philippe Coutinho to sign a new contract but is unsure when the Liverpool midfielder will put pen to paper.

10ThingstoSee-Sports AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

(Philippe Coutinho enjoyed an encouraging season last year)

The Brazilian playmaker has established himself as a key player at Anfield since his move from Inter in January 2013.

And Liverpool boss Rodgers is hopeful that the 22-year-old will commit his future to the Merseyside club in the not-too-distant future.

“I am not sure when it will be done,” he said after Monday’s Champions Cup final defeat against Manchester United.

“I haven’t spoken to any of the directors in the last few days so I am not sure where we are on that, but obviously he is someone we want to tie up for a period of time.

“I am sure I will hear more about it when I get back [from the United States] on Tuesday.”

Rodgers is expected to make Atletico Madrid defender Javi Manquillo his latest signing on Tuesday.

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