Football News

Philippe Coutinho: Liverpool urged to re-sign “game-changer” from Barcelona

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:50, 6 February 2020

Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman believes the club should look to re-sign Philippe Coutinho in order to further improve their squad.

The Brazilian left Liverpool for Barcelona in 2018 after a drawn-out transfer saga but has struggled to make an impact at the Nou Camp, currently on loan with Bayern Munich.

During that time, Liverpool have taken their game and squad to the next level, signing the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, helping them currently sit top of the Premier League.

Should Liverpool re-sign Coutinho? Five things to know…

  • Coutinho joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013.
  • In five years at the club, the Brazilian played 201 times and scored 54 goals.
  • He eventually left in 2018, joining Barcelona.
  • However, he has struggled to make an impact and his currently on loan at Bayern Munich.
  • But McManaman has urged Liverpool to re-sign Coutinho for his game-changing abilities.

With 13 games remaining, the Reds are 22 points clear of second-placed Manchester City and are only awaiting mathematical confirmation of their first title in 30 years.

At the start of the campaign, Liverpool were expected to be in an equal battle with Man City for the title, after Pep Guardiola’s side had won the past two, amassing 198 points across the campaigns.

Man City had looked to be setting up for a prolonged period of domination in England but Liverpool, off the back of their Champions League win, have proven to be a level above this season.

But, as Man City have shown, it wouldn’t be good for Liverpool to rest on their laurels for next season even with the high quality of their squad. And McManaman believes Coutinho would be one to improve their roster, even though Liverpool allowed him to leave just two years ago.

“It could be that they opt to bring a certain Philippe Coutinho back to the club,” McManaman told HorseRacing.net.

“I wouldn’t mind seeing Coutinho back. He’s a brilliant player but a lot of it is just down to economics.

“If they can bring Coutinho back for a reasonable fee and potentially sell a couple of players who aren’t playing regularly, then that could work.

“There are rumours that Xherdan Shaqiri may leave at the end of the season, and Adam Lallana may want to play more often. If there’s space available then I’d certainly like Coutinho back, as he was a wonderful player for Liverpool. He’s that type of player that when plan A isn’t working, he can change the game.

“He scored some incredible goals for Liverpool and though he’d have to win the fans over after he asked to leave, I think that most fans would recognise how good he was for Liverpool.”

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Reuniting Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’

Although it wouldn’t amass to anything, the start of the 2017/18 campaign for Liverpool was an exciting one. The arrival of Mohamed Salah from Roma meant the Reds had four talented attacking players at their disposal, with the Egyptian joining Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

And, in a 4-2-3-1 formation, it worked. In the Premier League, until Coutinho’s departure, the quartet affectionately known as the “Fab Four” combined to score 38 goals for Liverpool. Salah led the way with 17 but Firmino, Coutinho and Mane all had respectable amounts.

They were also sharing the assists, totalling at 19 with Coutinho (six) one ahead of Salah and two in front of Firmino and Mane.

In Coutinho’s absence, Salah, Firmino and Mane have continued to work as a unit but the Brazilian’s presence would only enhance Liverpool’s attack further.

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