Philippe Coutinho’s career has gone backwards since leaving Liverpool in January of 2018.
The Brazil international moved to Barcelona, and it looked as though it was the next step in an upward trajectory. However, after just 76 appearances for the Blaugrana, he was sent on loan to Bayern Munich at the start of the campaign, and it now looks as though he won’t be staying in Bavaria beyond this season either.
According to El Desmarque, the Bundesliga champions do not want to pay the €120m (£101.2m) purchase option. The report also adds that Jurgen Klopp would have turned down the chance to re-sign the 27-year-old for €108m (£91m), with names like Fabian Ruiz and Isco being more of interest to the Liverpool manager.
Were Liverpool right to turn that offer down? Our writers give their verdicts.
“Even though Coutinho used to be Liverpool’s key man, Jurgen Klopp has already long moved on from the system that made the Brazilian into the star he would eventually become. But both his failed stint at Barcelona and the ongoing campaign with Bayern Munich have proved that Coutinho is very much a system-specific player that needs the whole team centred around him in order to thrive. At the moment, I just can’t see him slotting into the current Liverpool squad nor do I feel Klopp needs a player of his profile at all. For me, this would have been a waste of money and honestly, it’s a spot-on decision by the German to decline the offer to take him back.”
“Jurgen Klopp has taken this Liverpool side from one that was quickly fading down the Premier League table to one now on the verge of winning the very same trophy. Their transformation has been nothing short of outstanding and the last thing they need is to bring someone like Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield. The Brazilian is a player of days gone by and has no future in the mesmeric team that Klopp is building. Coutinho may have creativity in abundance, registering five assists and six goals in the Bundesliga this season, but Liverpool are better off pursuing someone for the future – not an ex-player who could have cost them £91m. This is the right stance, one that shows just how far the Reds have come.”
“Liverpool are absolutely right to take this stance on Philippe Coutinho. Jurgen Klopp currently has a tight-knit squad who clearly have an exceptional attitude and mentality given how good they have been over the course of the last 18 months especially. The Brazilian blotted his own copybook when he handed in a transfer request via email at Anfield in the summer of 2017 in order to force through a move to Barcelona, and a potential bad egg to disrupt this settled team is the last thing the Merseyside outfit needs.
“That action in 2017 was perhaps a sign of his character, and Klopp has had the last laugh since his departure following two Champions League finals, 97 points in the top flight last season and looking to be on course to win their first-ever Premier League title this term.”
“Whilst the general opinion seems to be that Klopp was right to turn down taking Coutinho back to Liverpool, I believe that it could be a missed opportunity from the 52-year-old. Yes, the potential fee would have been a big one, but at 27 he still has plenty of football left in him. In the Premier League, the Brazil international was a revelation – in his last 45 matches in the English top tier, he had 20 goals and 13 assists. His work-rate is also underappreciated – he averaged 2.8 tackles per match at last year’s Copa America and managed well over one per game during his time in the Premier League. His career may not have gone on the trajectory many expected, but he still has the pedigree to be a star. In this case, Klopp got it wrong.”