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Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho deal further highlights the best transfer business Liverpool have ever done - RTK View

Barcelona completed a deal with Aston Villa for Philippe Coutinho today. It further highlights the best transfer Liverpool have ever done.

Barcelona and Aston Villa completed the permanent transfer of Philippe Coutinho to Villa Park today. The midlands club announced it this afternoon.

Bizarrely, Villa announced an ‘undisclosed fee’ for the permanent deal. Barcelona, on the other hand, just put the amount out there: €20m – around £17m.

And so ends one of the worst transfers in history. Barcelona signed Coutinho for £142m back in January 2018 – a staggering amount that hasn’t been matched since. After four disappointing years, he’s now moved on to Villa for £17m. That’s quite the loss.

It’s a period that did see Coutinho win the Champions League, of course – but while on loan with Bayern Munich. He actually scored twice to help eliminate Barcelona from the competition that year.

But as Barca can’t avoid it being the worst deal in their history, Liverpool can look back on it as the best. The Reds transformed themselves with the move.

Barcelona strike Philippe Coutinho deal

So four years on, we can see what both Barcelona and Liverpool ended up with as a result of the deal. For Barcelona, that’s £17m. For Liverpool, it was a summer of incredible signings that turned the Reds from also-rans to champions.

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The Reds spent more money in 2018 than in any other year in their history. Virgil van Dijk arrived for £75m, Alisson Becker joined from AS Roma for £67m and Fabinho for £39m.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

That’s £181m, the vast majority of which Coutinho’s sale paid for. All three are now the backbone of Liverpool’s defence and some of the absolute best players in the world.

We wrote back in 2020 that the Coutinho deal shows why Liverpool are thriving. Instead of going down the superstar route, they’ve signed the players they needed. The money from Barcelona will forever be the finest example of that.

And so instead of seeing their investment put into one player who eventually whittled down to be worth £17m, Liverpool completed a winning team. It may forever remain the Reds’ high point as far as recruitment goes.

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