The transfer saga involving Liverpool, Barcelona and Philippe Coutinho was one that dragged on for over six months, and one that also dominated the headlines on Merseyside and Catalonia for some time.
After months of negotiations, the Spanish giants finally agreed a £142m fee for the Brazilian international and the Reds had lost their hugely influential No.10.
However, seven months before the transfer was confirmed, Jurgen Klopp had his say on Coutinho’s future amid the first real talk of an Anfield exit for the former Inter man.
Luis Suarez certainly had no qualms about celebrating against his former employers in the video below…
The German said: “Stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honour.
“Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player. Here you can be something more.”
At the time, that just seemed like a desperate attempt to keep his best player from the former Borussia Dortmund manager, but it has since proven to be a wise statement.
Coutinho has now spent 18 months at the Camp Nou, and has flopped massively with his future now up in the air after a wholly disappointing season.
The 26-year-old scored just 11 goals and recorded five assists in the 2018/19 campaign, mustering up just 21 strikes and laying on 11 more for his teammates in the 18 months since the club-record switch.
As Klopp foresaw, Coutinho has become ‘just another player’ at the club, so much so that the Spanish champions appear to have lost patience with their big-money signing and are willing to cash in on him this summer.
At Anfield, the diminutive Brazilian had songs sung about him, banners made and a stadium and city that adored him due to his exploits on the pitch for them; he could’ve become a Liverpool legend had he stayed.
Instead, Klopp’s prophecy has ultimately proven true; Coutinho has been swallowed up by going from a big fish in what to him was a small pond to a rather tiny fish in a gigantic sea of talent.
Perhaps he shouldn’t have tried so hard to get away from Merseyside…