This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Danny Murphy has urged Liverpool to resist the signing of Philippe Coutinho this summer, per bwin.
The Reds have been linked with a sensational move to bring the Barcelona midfielder back to Anfield in this transfer window.
Coutinho left Liverpool in 2018 to join the Catalan club in a deal that was worth a staggering £142m after a five-year spell on Merseyside.
And Murphy, who played for the club between 1997 and 2004, does not want to see the Brazil international return in this transfer window.
He said: “Liverpool would be taking a step backwards if they re-signed Coutinho. Coutinho is at his best when playing in a central three, not wide left. If he were to come back, he would change the dynamic of the team and it would disrupt the balance.
“Liverpool’s midfield three are all super athletes who defend as much as they attack, which they’ll lose if playing Coutinho there. Klopp had the ability to try a different formation once Coutinho departed and the results speak for themselves. It would be risky to revert back to accommodating Coutinho.
“There’s always room for a creative player, but Liverpool should be looking at a player like Ousmane Dembele or (Wilfried) Zaha, not Coutinho.”
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Murphy is right.
Any deal to sign Coutinho would surely be outrageously expensive given Barca’s original outlay to bring him in, and he would disrupt that balanced midfield three of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum that served the Reds so well during the 2018/19 campaign.
He is not like those players which suggests that he would only be able to start on the left wing right now.
Liverpool really need depth up front, particularly after Daniel Sturridge’s departure left the club with just Divock Origi as senior back-up to Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, but it would be difficult to see the Brazilian displacing the latter in the starting XI.
Moving for Coutinho, then, would be a move clouded by sentiment.
They should take their former star’s advice and look to invest their money elsewhere.