Why selling Philippe Coutinho was the best thing Liverpool have done this decade
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Why selling Philippe Coutinho was the best thing Liverpool have done this decade

With the decade coming to a close over the coming days, Liverpool have certainly seen their fair share of success during the 2010s.

A sixth European Cup, two Champions League finals, a record-breaking 97-point Premier League tally and countless cult heroes that have helped establish the Reds once again into one of European football’s most formidable forces.

However, there is one particular decision that has proved the most significant to Jurgen Klopp and his players on the verge of a Golden Age for the club.

Sporting director Michael Edwards has emerged as a fan favourite amongst Reds supporters since his appointment to the role in 2016. The former Peterborough United full-back has orchestrated some of Liverpool’s biggest deals during Klopp’s reign.

After bringing in the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Alisson Becker (just to name a few), Edwards has overseen the transfers that have completely transformed club fortunes over the last three years.

Despite this, there is one deal in particular deal that has proven to benefit the European champions far more than any other. The sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January 2018 proved to be the transformative outgoing that effectively paid for the signings of Van Dijk and Alisson.

MADRID, SPAIN – JUNE 01: Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker of Liverpool celebrate with the trophy during the UEFA Champions League Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on June 01, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)

Without the gargantuan fee (£142 million) the La Liga champions paid for the Brazil international the deals for Liverpool’s irreplaceable duo may not have been possible.

Van Dijk, 29, has undoubtedly been Liverpool’s most effective signing since the Premier League began. The Dutch captain has made 96 appearances since his record-breaking £75 million move from Southampton in 2018. His contributions have led the Reds to two consecutive Champions League finals and has seen the central defender claim UEFA’s Player of the Year for 2019.

Alisson meanwhile, has proven the Reds best goalkeeper since the early 1990s. The Brazilian No.1 has 24 clean sheets in 46 league appearances and has claimed both FIFA and UEFA’s Goalkeeper of the Year award. The former Roma goalkeeper was also the inaugural recipient of the Yachine Trophy at the 2019 Ballon d’Or awards.

MUNICH, GERMANY – DECEMBER 11: Philippe Coutinho of Bayern Muenchen celebrates with teammate Alphonso Davies after scoring his team’s third goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Bayern Muenchen and Tottenham Hotspur at Allianz Arena on December 11, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Coutinho since his departure hasn’t been on the end of such remarkable highs since his departure from Anfield almost two years ago. The former Inter Milan star failed to convince Barcelona of his talents and has since departed the club for Bayern Munich.

It’s hard to remember a life where Coutinho wore the Liverpool red following such transformative months under Klopp. With the Reds on the verge of securing a first league title since 1990, the sale of Liverpool’s former magician has proven to be the catalyst of some of the club’s greatest night in their illustrious 127-year history.

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