Coutinho has not turned out for Liverpool at all yet this season and manager Jurgen Klopp says he will not play at home against Arsenal on Sunday because “he still has a back problem.”
Headlines dominating the soccer world this summer have read, “PSG signs megastar Neymar”, “Barcelona pursue Coutinho”, “He’s not for sale!”, “Coutinho hands in transfer request”. Coutinho has reportedly wanted to move to Barcelona for most of the summer but the Reds insist he is not for sale and have rejected three huge offers.
As a Liverpool fan, it felt like a knife to the back when Phil handed in his transfer request to go to Barcelona. Pundits split over whether Liverpool should sell him or if they should keep him. Luckily, we do not HAVE to sell Phil. In fact I firmly believe we HAVE to keep him. And I believe we will.
First and foremost, it is so incredibly late in the transfer window, with the Premier League and Champions League having started, that thinking he should be sold is ridiculous! FSG (Fenway Sports Group and Liverpool ownership) have all the power thanks to Phil himself accepting a contract last season of 5 years and no release clause.
Cue Barcelona coming in with bids of £72 million and £90m to replace Neymar. Since we don’t need the money and don’t need to sell him, Barcelona must up their third bid to minimum £120m+ to even tempt the Reds’ owners. But with that kind of money, who would sell to Liverpool this late in the window? Similar to Barcelona now, teams would know we are desperate and take advantage of us. This is only a positive scenario for Barca and Phil, while Liverpool can only lose.
Secondly, our squad is extremely thin in the midfield. Adam Lallana is out for 2-3 months and without Phil, Liverpool has limited creative players in the middle of the pitch. Our front three, Salah, Firmino, and Mane, are the perfect attackers for Phil to link up with given their blistering pace, skill and game-changing abilities so why sell when we have the perfect recipe? If Phil leaves, the task of competing in the UEFA Champions League and finishing top four in the Premier league becomes an uphill battle.
Lastly, if Coutinho tries to play hardball and refuses to play, Liverpool should allow him to train alone thus eliminating his game time. I strongly believe the situation would never come to this however, due to it being a World Cup year; Phil needs to play his best to make the Brazil squad.
Klopp has made many statements that Coutinho is not leaving the club. Fenway Sports Group have made many statements that Coutinho is not leaving the club. Philippe Coutinho is not leaving the club this year! Things will smooth over in a few weeks and Phil will be playing in Red once again, where he belongs. Rant over.
Author: Andrew Scanlon