Although it certainly didn’t feel like it to many Liverpool fans at the time, when the Reds finally parted ways with Philippe Coutinho for a whopping £142 million in January of 2018, they arguably pulled off the transfer coup of the decade.
Coutinho, despite his obvious and undeniable talent, never really fit into Klopp’s preferred 4-3-3 system. He lacked the pace to be an out and out winger, and he lacked the defensive work rate to play deeper in the middle of the park. His struggles at Barcelona and Bayern Munich only confirm that it was the correct decision for Liverpool to cash in.
His sale helped to fund the additions of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, and Fabinho, among others. The Coutinho-less squad went on to win 4 major titles in a little over a year, whereas the Brazilian won zero over his 5 years at the club.
This is all to say that despite our current struggles, we really are better without Coutinho.
But people are entitled to bad opinions, and journalist Marcus Banks spouted off this doozy on the Blood Red Podcast.
“For me, I think it’s a no-brainer for the £35m that is being talked about. Liverpool should be all over that,” Banks said.
“Especially when you factor in that you possibly get £15m in for Marko Grujic, possibly £10-15m for Harry Wilson in the summer; swapping those players who probably have no future at Liverpool for a player of Coutinho’s caliber who is 28, approaching his prime, Premier League proven, and similar to the way Thiago Alcantara was signed to just offer something different to Liverpool. I think it should be a no-brainer.
“If you look at Man City, a player like Bernardo Silva who’s sort of similar, can play in the center of midfield, out wide; he doesn’t start every game but he is there to offer Pep Guardiola options.
“Coutinho is a bit of a no-brainer; I think he would suit the Liverpool team now more than he suits Barcelona because he would offer something better on the left if you want to switch Mane.”
He said “no-brainer” a lot for a move that, yes, would indicate Liverpool have no brains. Or at least no memory.
With everything we’ve seen since Coutinho’s departure, both at the club and from the player’s struggles at his new clubs, it’s frankly amazing to me that anyone would be #CoutinhoIn these days.
Unless Coutinho grows about a foot and learns how to play center back. Then £35 might be a steal.