It’s official. Philippe Coutinho is leaving Liverpool. A big unveiling at the Camp Nou is extremely nigh.
Liverpool fans are no doubt experiencing a wide range of emotions right now. I know I’ve been swinging pretty dramatically between “eh, we’ll probably be okay” to “haha fuck you too Phil.” It’s important to not hide from feelings or suppress them. Embrace them fully, because that’s the only way to heal and eventually move forward.
In terms of the Five Stages Of Grief, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has clearly just moved past the third stage of Bargaining. Speaking to the club website, Klopp sounded sanguine— if understandably defeated— while discussing Coutinho’s departure.
“It is with great reluctance that we— as a team and club— prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player in Philippe Coutinho,” Klopp said.
“It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known,” Klopp said. “Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his teammates this was a move he was desperate to make happen. Despite that, we managed to keep the player here beyond the summer window, hoping that we would be able to persuade him to stay and be part of what we are looking to do.”
Klopp also tried to reassure fans that he and the club didn’t let Coutinho go without a fight.
“I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of LFC was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100 per cent certain his future— and that of his family— belongs at Barcelona. It is his dream and I am now convinced there is nothing left at our disposal to change his mind.”
The manager finished on an upbeat note, insisting that the team will not only survive but thrive in a post-Coutinho world.
“Players will come and players will go, that is football, but as a club we are big enough and strong enough to continue with our aggressive progression on the pitch, even when we lose an important player. We have never been in a better position in recent times, as a club, to react in the right way. We will use our size and strength to absorb moments like this and still move forward.
“I have been here long enough now to know in the history of Liverpool, key players have left before – but the club always goes on. You cannot transfer the heart and soul of Liverpool Football Club, although I am sure there are many clubs who would like to buy it.
“I have so much belief in the talent we have here already and even more faith, together with our owners, that we will make continued investment into the playing squad, which will allow more growth and more improvement.”
This is a tough situation all-around. Credit to Klopp to try and lift everyone’s spirits after a difficult day at the end of a difficult transfer saga.