Although waiting for the summer transfer window to finally shut (with Philippe Coutinho still at Liverpool) was agony, this may have been the “easy part.” The hard part—reintegrating the talented midfielder—may prove to be more difficult.
Regardless of personal feelings toward the player or his pugs, Coutinho will undoubtedly be disappointed over the failed move to Barcelona. The onus of recommitting to Liverpool may fall squarely on Phil’s shoulders, but the one and only Ronaldinho thinks he’ll be up to the task.
“This season they will see him give everything for the club – that is the sort of player he is,” the former Ballon d’Or recipient said.
“Also, no player is going to refuse to play when it’s the World Cup at the end of the season.
“The Liverpool fans have nothing to worry about – I do not believe any of the stories about him refusing to play for the club. I know him that is not his way.”
It is worth taking these comments, as reassuring as they sound, for what they are: opinions. Ronaldinho probably hasn’t had a great deal of contact with Coutinho or Barcelona over this matter. That said, he is someone who knows how important it is for Brazilian players to represent their country in the World Cup, something that Coutinho will only be able to accomplish by putting in a hell of a campaign on Merseyside.
But it wasn’t all sunshine, rainbows, and Magical Unicorns returning to Anfield. There was bad news from the legend as well.
“[Barcelona] made it clear how much they wanted him and I am sure that they will come back for him.”
We all know this is a possibility at this juncture. But for now, it seems, we can all enjoy one last season in the sun with Coutinho before Naby Keïta arrives and we all ask, “Phil who?”