English Premiership

Liverpool and the Coutinho conundrum

2018-01-04 16:30
Philippe Coutinho (AP)

Cape Town - Even before the January transfer window opened, Liverpool fans the world over knew that the saga of Barcelona and wantaway Brazilian playmaker, Philippe Coutinho was set to start all over again.

In August, Liverpool's number 10 had made it clear that he wanted to move to the Catalan club and link up with his old team-mate Luis Suarez, as well as other Barca legends like Andres Iniesta and a certain Lionel Messi.

Liverpool, however, stood firm and despite numerous Barcelona bids of over £100 million, Coutinho stayed at Anfield and soon was back in the first team, pulling the strings from midfield, assisting goals and crucially, scoring them as well.

Come the January transfer window, however,  and it seems that this time around, Liverpool's mindset has changed.

Jurgen Klopp and the Fenway Sports Group, the club's American owners, look resigned to the fact that they will lose their talismanic playmaker. 

If that is to happen, should they let him go in January?

To that the answer is an emphatic NO! And there are a number of reasons for this:

Firstly, if he were to move Barcelona, he would not be able to compete in the knockout stages of the Champions League as he has already played for Liverpool in this year's competition. He cannot aid Barcelona in any way in the world's most prestigious club competition. 

Secondly, Barcelona practically have the La Liga title wrapped up. As things stand, they are nine points clear of Atletico Madrid in second place and fourteen clear of great rivals, Real Madrid. They simply do not need Coutinho to help them secure the title.

Thirdly, Liverpool have everything still to play for this season. They will want to secure a top four spot in the English Premiership and claim the Champions League place that goes with it. They are also in the running for the FA Cup and perhaps most importantly, they are in the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

Liverpool simply must stick to their guns, even if it causes some fallout with Coutinho. 

He simply cannot afford to sulk and kick his heels on the sidelines should Liverpool choose not to sell him.

It is a World Cup year after all...

Craig Taylor works at Sport24. He is addicted to Football Manager and a massive fan of Liverpool Football Club. 

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