Reports suggest Barcelona are open to selling Philippe Coutinho. We look at two pros and two cons of Liverpool moving for Coutinho.
The Daily Mail suggests that Barca will listen to offers for the Brazilian. It will take a fee of ‘at least £136m’ to make it happen, however – just short of the fee paid to Liverpool last year.
Coutinho knows Liverpool and Liverpool know Coutinho
One ‘problem’ Jurgen Klopp has with new players is how long it takes for them to get up to speed. We’ve seen it with Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andy Robertson.
Coutinho shouldn’t have that problem, however. The Brazilian wasn’t just playing well before his move to Barcelona but he was thriving. He scored 12 goals and assisted another eight in his final-half season, a record that shows how in-tune he was with the side.
There’s a place for a player like Coutinho
A collapsed move for Nabil Fekir showed that Jurgen Klopp wanted a creative midfielder. Who better than one he already knows can make things happen for him?
Klopp has utilised a new system this year, too. The 4-2-3-1 appears to have two ready-made roles for Coutinho, be it behind the striker or from the left of midfield. The Reds may struggle to find another player who fits things that well.
Coutinho would be very expensive
£136m is more money than nearly any club can afford. Perhaps Liverpool could meet it if they signed absolutely no one else but that seems unlikely.
The team probably needs a striker, for instance, and Coutinho may not be a high enough priority to sideline that.
Coutinho’s confidence may be shot
There’s a reason Barcelona are reportedly open to selling. Coutinho doesn’t look like the same player and the mental impact that has isn’t known right now.
Is he simply not fitting in in Catalonia? Or has he been hit hard enough that he really isn’t what he used to be?
The latter would mean effectively rehabilitating Coutinho – would you really want to pay a huge fee for that?
And that’s what makes this such a major con. Liverpool wouldn’t just be paying a record fee but they’d be doing it on an unknown quantity. Yes, he could slot right back in and thrive once again, or he may just never quite be the same again.
Weighing up the pros and cons of Coutinho, it does look like too much of a risk. He’ll be 27 in the summer and time isn’t entirely on his side.
This one may not make enough sense for Liverpool to get involved with.