Liverpool could be about to be gazumped by none other than Steven Gerrard. The former midfielder is set to take Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa and the former Premier League champions might have missed a trick.
The Reds were in the mix to sign their former attacker. Everton were keen too. Let’s face it though, that’s hardly an attractive proposition right now!
Gerrard looks to have won the race to snare the 29-year-old to Villa Park. It represents a coup for the Villans and his arrival could spark an upturn in fortunes.
Coutinho left Liverpool in 2018. He broke Anfield hearts when he stated his desire to sign for Barcelona and left in a deal worth £142 million.
His time in Spain has been pretty disastrous. Okay, Coutinho has won some silverware but 25 goals and 16 assists from 106 appearances are way below what was expected of him.
A loan move to Bayern Munich did seem him rediscover some form. There he made 38 appearances, scoring 11 goals and helping the team to Champions League glory.
Roberto Firmino is a big fan of Coutinho. In October 2020 he called the player ‘magical’ and surely he’d have welcomed his Anfield arrival.
It’s been a relative struggle since leaving Liverpool for Coutinho, however. As a result, it’s perhaps somewhat surprising that the Reds haven’t done more to bring him back.
Short-term measure: Coutinho could have been ideal for Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp will be without Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah for at least a month. The pair have headed off the African Cup of Nations and Liverpool are now short.
With that in mind, taking Coutinho on a short-term deal would have suited all parties.
Liverpool could have taken a look at the Brazilian. He would have played lots of football in the absence of the integral duo and he’d have handed the team an injection of quality.
Klopp could have put Coutinho through a rigorous audition for a permanent place at Anfield. Had he proved a success the second time around, Liverpool would have been nicely poised to sign him at the end of the season.
Now, it’s Villa who will have the upper hand. Gerrard seems to have gazumped Liverpool and the club could live to regret not doing more to sign Coutinho this month.