Finally, Philippe Coutinho left for Barcelona. Selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona is a big moment for Liverpool, and if they play it well, it could be a transformative deal, one that restores them to the elite of European football.
Liverpool had done decent business in netting £142 million for Barcelona-bound Philippe Coutinho.
Former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson questioned the logic behind making the move midseason, given Coutinho will be ineligible for Barca in the Champions League, but still welcomed the windfall.
“It’s hard to get my head around what Philippe is going to gain because he can’t play Champions League football for them, they are running away with the league, and he’s got the World Cup at the end of the season,” Thompson said on Sky Sports.
“Will he play regularly every week at Barcelona? I’m not too sure. Philippe could have carried on (at Liverpool). He could have been playing in the Champions League.
“It’s a great opportunity for him to play every week, to play at the highest level with Liverpool. So I do scratch my head wondering.
“But it’s a fantastic deal. The money is quite astonishing money, which will be more than welcomed.”
Liverpool’s initial reaction to selling Coutinho is expected to be a renewed move for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar, whom they failed to sign following a late bid for the 22-year-old during the summer transfer window. Lemar will cost in the region of £90 million but is a highly sought-after player. Tempting him to Anfield would be a coup for Liverpool and a signal to their major competitors that they mean business and are prepared to spend big to prove it.
Can Liverpool go forward without Philippe Coutinho ? Liverpool now have the chance to press the reset button and close the exit door by quickly reinvesting the Coutinho money.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Lemar rejected a move to Arsenal last August because he had set his heart on a move to Liverpool, so it is a deal that Klopp will be confident of pulling off, particularly now that Monaco are out of the Champions League this season. But Liverpool also need a new goalkeeper and reinforcements in midfield, with Emre Can expected to run down his contract and move to Juventus as a free agent in the summer.
A move for Lemar and perhaps a top-class goalkeeper, such as Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, would be a smart way to spend the Coutinho money, but the ball is now in Liverpool’s court.
If we use the money wisely, we still can win Champion League for Philippe Couthinho, Let do it Liverpool….