Liverpool have boasted a number of magical players in recent years, with the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino the pillars of a frontline who have achieved great things.
With Michael Edwards also at the club’s disposal, it was a dream team as far as the Anfield outfit are concerned.
Edwards was the brains in terms of recruitment, with the former sporting director gifting Klopp players who he engineered into stars on the field of play.
Perhaps one of their most staggering deals involved Phillipe Coutinho. The Brazilian wasn’t arriving in Merseyside but instead was heading for the departure lounge at John Lennon Airport.
The transfer chief at Liverpool managed to negotiate a remarkable fee of £146m for Coutinho’s services, with the gifted playmaker heading to Barcelona in what represented a dream move for the now 30-year-old.
Renowned for a spectacular long-range goal, he left the Reds behind having scored 54 times in 201 outings, with a further 45 assists dolloped on top.
Arguably, Liverpool haven’t had a player like him since he left, with Klopp preferring to operate with more direct wingers and without a number 10.
However, the addition of Xavi Simons in January, or further into 2023, could evoke memories of Coutinho.
Reports from Spain at the back end of last month claimed that the German tactician was a big fan of the Dutchman with Liverpool looking at the midfielder to solve their midfield woes.
The centre of the park has been a big issue for them throughout 2022/23, with the likes of Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arthur Melo all spending periods on the sideline through injury.
Also an ageing midfield, the addition of 19-year-old Simons would fit the bill.
Like Coutinho, he is mesmerising in the final third with the teenager being billed as “one of the biggest talents in world football” as far back as 2018 when he was just 15 years of age.
At the time, the attacking midfielder was learning his trade in Barca’s famous La Masia academy, a school of football to teach the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi their craft.
Simons would never play under his namesake at Barca, eventually signing for PSV Eindhoven on a free transfer last summer after refusing to sign a new deal with French giants PSG.
Their loss has been PSV’s gain with the youngster truly sparkling this campaign, showing qualities that Coutinho would certainly be proud of.
One of those goals should have come against the Premier League’s top performers this term, Arsenal, as he twinkle-toed his way through the Gunners’ defence before finding the net in a 2-0 Europa League victory. Sadly, the dazzling effort was ruled out for offside but it was an exciting glimpse of the enormous talent in his locker.
With the ability to play out wide as well as through the middle, the comparisons to Coutinho don’t stop with his skillset.
That similarity, however, should be enough to convince Liverpool supporters and Julian Ward that this should be their go-to man in 2023.
It would be a superb signing if they choose to pursue a move, with it surely only a matter of time before Simons gets his chance in the Premier League.