Sometimes, you have a transfer threat that actually sends a shiver down your spine. You listen to the words of this soothsayer of sport, this incredibly well-paid Cassandra and you shudder at their prophecies. Luckily for us, former Liverpool and Manchester United player, Paul Ince, does not fall into this category. Per Ince, Liverpool might be facing a threat in the summer from Virgil van Dijk trying to pull a Coutinho and secure a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
“I think what [Liverpool are] doing is great – the players and Klopp – but great teams win trophies year in year out.” the pundit said. “They’ve got a big chance to do that but we’ll need to look back in a few years to see what they’ve done to say that was a great Liverpool team.”
“Obviously it’s now a question of how they get better in the future, it’s tough because they’ve got some young exciting players who are only going to improve but in football things change – we saw that with Philippe Coutinho, suddenly someone like Barcelona comes in and they’re off.
‘It’s a case of keeping the best players at Liverpool,” he added. “Will someone come in for Van Dijk? When Barcelona or Real Madrid come knocking it’s hard to say no. That’s the thing about being a victim of your own success, when you’re doing so many great things like Liverpool are doing it alerts other big clubs like Barcelona or Madrid.”
The implication here, of course, is that Liverpool today is the same as the Liverpool that Coutinho made clear he wouldn’t want to be at. It’s not. Liverpool today is the winner of the Champions League, the winner of the Club World Cup, and fast on their way to a record-breaking season (ideally) bookended with the Premier League. That’s not even touching on the atmosphere and squad that Klopp has deliberately built.
It’s incredibly hard to imagine what Barcelona or Real Madrid—as they are today—have to offer players that Liverpool doesn’t, and that doesn’t seem like it’s going to change anytime soon.