Pundit View: Phil Thompson would have Philippe Coutinho back in a ‘heartbeat’

Yep, you read the title correctly.

Liverpool legend and Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson would take Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield in a “heartbeat”, despite the acrimonious fashion in which he forced a move to Barcelona 18 months ago.

The Brazil international handed in a transfer request in the summer of 2017 in an attempt to push through a switch to the Spanish champions, and he got his wish six months later as the Catalans splashed out a mega £142m to lure the attacking midfielder to Spain.

Luis Suarez certainly had no qualms about celebrating against his former employers in the video below…

Coutinho was so desperate to leave Anfield that he even paid £11.5m of his own money to join the Spanish champions, and he has been branded as a ‘snake’ by plenty of the Liverpool supporters ever since.

What did Thompson say?

Thompson told Sky Sports News: “I would take him back in a heartbeat, but it would have to be now.

“You don’t want to leave it another 12 months, I think he still has the ability. He’s suffered at Barcelona. We’ve seen him playing out wide on the left, but he’s not Neymar.

“He likes to be in the middle where he can pull strings and is getting on the ball to hurt teams.

“He doesn’t do that and he’s not a left-winger and that’s where he’s playing at Barcelona; they don’t love him like Liverpool loved him.”

Foolish thing to say

Coutinho besmirched Liverpool and tried his hardest to get away from the club, and the Anfield faithful do not take kindly to that kind of thing.

Even if the Reds did fork out a huge fee to bring the former Inter playmaker back to Merseyside, it would be a move that carries a lot of risk given the new manner in which the Reds go about their recruitment – why would they do that anyway given how well things are going?

Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp have been shrewd and concise in their signings recently. Bargain deals for Andy Robertson and Joel Matip, as well as swift swoops for Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker with the Coutinho money, have proved just that.

Why would they be prepared to lose a shed-load of cash and risk upsetting the fanbase in order to sign a player with five goals in 34 La Liga appearances this season?

It simply isn’t worth it, and Thompson is foolish to want the 26-year-old anywhere near the club again.