It might be tempting to take the easy road out by moving to Barcelona, but Philippe Coutinho should stay loyal to the club that saved his career
Philippe Coutinho has been hogging the major headlines of the European press for the past few days, with Spanish reports suggesting that Barcelona will do anything it takes to land the Liverpool star. However, the English club remains firm on convincing the Seleção star to stay. Is the Camp Nou the right move for the Brazilian to make, or should the forward look for stability in a World Cup season?
Coutinho is without any doubt one of the major stars of the Premier League, it is therefore no surprise that his services have lured the attention of Barcelona. Following Neymar’s departure to Paris Saint Germain earlier on in this transfer window, and with Andrès Iniesta not getting any younger, the Spanish club could well put Coutinho into good use in more than one position, be it on the left-hand side as wide play-maker, or as an eight, in Iniesta’s advanced central midfield position. The Liverpool star has shown on more than one occasion just how brilliant he can be, whenever he is on a long run of games and injury-free.
However, with Iniesta being a fan favorite and with the club looking unlikely to over-spend on signing two major stars in Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembélé, it is more likely than not, that the Brazilian will find himself as the direct replacement to countryman Neymar. As talented and effective the former Vasco-man has proven to be while operating on the left, it is becoming clearer by the day, why he is destined to shine in a central role.
Coutinho won't hand in transfer request to force Barça move https://t.co/DZQkM2OGWQ
— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) August 9, 2017
Coutinho lacks pace, as well as the physical abilities to track back and recover the ball. When he is on the left, he has less space to exploit and would find himself surrounded, which would make his game more predictable.
Whereas, when playing in the middle, Coutinho has the opportunity to express himself in the way that suits his characteristics. When it comes to close control, dribbles, vertical passes, through balls and high-pressing, the Brazilian excels. He has the basic attributes of a midfield general, and he is now, more than ever, ready to take command of Liverpool’s army in their comeback season to the UEFA Champions League.
With Mohamed Salah joining the Anfield outfit, Coutinho can now count on two pacy wingers in the Egyptian, and Sadio Mané, to make the constant long runs right in time, allowing Philippe to put his vision into good use, as in the old days with a certain Uruguayan, and Daniel Sturridge – before the injury woes eventually got the best out of him.
It is not easy to turn down one of the top sides in the world, and FC Barcelona is certainly one of them. However, there is more to football than just choosing the easy path to glory. If Coutinho wants to prove everyone wrong, he has to do it while at Liverpool, and there is no reason as to why he cannot.
Of course, he can always emulate Luis Suárez by joining Barça, but now is not the ideal time. This season, Liverpool look more prepared, the Brazilian should give it one last shot at silverware, so that he doesn’t leave, empty-handed, the club that basically revived his career after a disappointing spell at Inter.
Do not waste the opportunity to write your name in the history of books at one of the greatest clubs in the history of European football. Now is the time to repay the club that rescued you from your despair, and turned you into one of the best players in English football. This club needs you now, more than ever.