Joseph Kavaloski discusses how Philippe Coutinho leaving Liverpool this summer would completely ruin the progress of the 2016/17 season.
As has been an almost continual summer annoyance for Liverpool fans over the past few seasons, the future of Philippe Coutinho is poised to be a common tabloid topic in the next few months. The Brazilian just finished his best season on Merseyside and though the transfer rumours are a positive indication of his play, losing a talismanic figure would be a crushing blow for the Reds.
If there is one thing for Liverpool fans to be thankful regarding Coutinho is that despite the speculation, there are no indications that a move is even being discussed at this moment. That being said, having a respected journalist such as Guillem Balague say that Coutinho’s agents are pushing for a move to Barcelona is definitely not comforting.
Liverpool attaining Champions League football once again is certainly a positive for the club’s chances of keeping the little magician at Anfield. Good players are almost demanding that their clubs play among Europe’s elite in today’s game, further highlighting the importance of Liverpool’s fourth-placed finish.
Unfortunately, however, the lure of Barcelona or Real Madrid often trumps all other factors when a player makes his career decisions. As the Reds experienced with the Luis Suarez saga three years ago, sometimes the Champions League and a promising squad is not enough to keep a player.
Unlike the Suarez situation though, the Reds have a more highly renowned coach in Jürgen Klopp and a side that clearly looks to be on the upswing. There is no discounting the strides Liverpool has made since Klopp took over. From reaching multiple cup finals to finally finishing in the top four with a squad that still has not reached its potential, the Reds look poised to improve on the successful 2016/17 season next year.
Losing Coutinho would be a massive blow to the club’s chances of making another incremental step forward. The little magician has added consistency to his game which resulted in an outstanding result of 14 goals and nine assists in all competitions this past season. Subtracting a player of his ilk would be a major blow to the squad.
For the Reds to fully establish themselves as a perennial competitor in the Champions League group stages, the club cannot continue losing key players. Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez, and Fernando Torres are just three of the club’s recent talismanic figures to depart for greener pastures.
If Philippe Coutinho decides to join that infamous group and leave Anfield for a Spanish giant, finding a replacement would be nearly impossible. A loss of his magnitude would undo almost all the work Jürgen Klopp has done to establish a strong first team this season. In essence, it would be an example of taking one step forward and two steps back.
To truly assert themselves as a team among Europe’s elite once again, the Reds need to lose the stigma of being a “selling club.” With the exception of Steven Gerrard, almost every single player to reach a world-class level in a Red shirt has ended up transferring from Anfield over the past 15 years.
If Klopp hopes to reach the heights of his Borussia Dortmund tenure, this trend needs to stop with Coutinho. Not only would it be a tremendous boost to the team, but it would signal to other clubs that the Reds are no longer a side that sells their best players.