It’s all over the news. Our little magician has left for sunny Barcelona. Whether you agree with his decision or the timing of it or not, there’s no denying that Philippe Coutinho was a wonderful servant for five years to us and the ridiculous money we’ve just sold him for can only be exciting for Jurgen Klopp.
The question now is very simple: where do we desperately need to improve and spend those funds? We asked the team here at FoL and here’s what they had to say:
I’ve been bleating about this for nearly four years or so but we need a much better goalkeeper than Simon Mignolet. That has to be priority number one in my eyes. I’m a big fan of Karius but I don’t think Klopp believes in him anymore so it has to be a keeper. Mignolet can save penalties fairly well but he’s cost us more points than he’s won us by a long way. As I’ve said before to friends, family and on our sister site’s podcast (Talk From The Top Flight which you can get along with The Kop Table by searching for Falbros Media Group on iTunes and SoundCloud), I think Karius should be our number one right now but it seems more likely Adam Bogdan getting that job just now so a keeper is number one on my list.
Secondly, a holding midfielder. Like, an actual one that can tackle and knows how to defend as well as play. Fernandinho has been sensational for Manchester City this season and should be the model we look at when looking for a midfielder that can defend. We sold Lucas in the summer who I think got a raw deal as he can do everything Henderson does plus defend. That, for me, was a giant misstep and we need to rectify that when we have more resources than ever. There’s no point spunking £75 million on a defender without providing some cover in front of him.
My initial feeling is that Liverpool are losing one of the few world class players they have in the squad. It is with great sadness that he has chosen to depart Anfield but it is in the manner of which he chose to leave which was nothing short of disrespectful and the reason that many Liverpool fans now see him as just another player who has used the club for his own personal benefit.
When Coutinho left Inter to join Liverpool we basically rescued his career and turned him into what he is today. Was Barcelona interested when he left Italy or when he was playing close by on loan at Espanyol? The answer is no the was not.
He has treated the club with utter contempt and feigned injury to get his move and what I will say is things that go around come back around so hopefully Karma will come back and bite him on his backside at some point in the future.
This current Liverpool squad has the capability to cope with his departure and I fully agree with the manager selling him now. People say but you don`t sell your best players in January but why would you want an unhappy player sulking around with little interest in playing for you? He has showed his true colours and unless your 100% pulling in the same direction ass the rest of the squad then Jurgen will show you the door and rightly so.
On a replacement obviously Klopp wants Lemar and that is fine but I also would like to see a like for like player brought in such as Ever Banega , Matteo Kovacic or Adrian Rabiot brought in for their creativity and vision to replace what we are losing . The dream signing would be Marco Verrati from PSG but I don`t expect that to be happening in the near future.
I trust Jurgen to spend the money wisely and as shown previously he will wait if necessary to get his targets on board. In the mean time I suggest we all get behind the team and fully support the lads that want to be at the club with the best support possible.
While I do believe that we have lost an important player, I do not think this is as big a loss as some may think. Coutinho is a very special player, but in my opinion this loss is not the same as losing someone like Suarez or even Xabi Alonso from years back. I do believe we received more money than I think he is worth, and he has clearly wanted this move for a while, so at the end of the day I think this was a good transfer for Liverpool.
In terms of who I would like to see being brought in, I think goalkeeper is priority number one. But who? Any goalkeeper from the Premier League would most likely be ridiculously expensive, so we may have to look abroad. In my opinion Keylor Navas from Real Madrid should be the main target. Even though he is Madrid’s starting goalie, I get the feeling that his place is never really secure at the Bernabeu. For me he seems to be a placeholder until Madrid can get someone better (De Gea).
I also think either another defender or a holding midfielder would be fantastic. As far as defenders go, I would like to see someone who can add some personality, and is a no nonsense defender. Someone like Diego Godin, even though he may be a bit too old now. Even though we did just add VVD, he will not be able to do everything on his own. In terms of holding midfielder, Radja Nainggolan just screams Liverpool to me. Excellent motor, great tackler and passer of the ball. Lemar is someone who has been talked about as well, and he would seem like a fine addition. With Keita coming in the summer, another midfielder may not be the highest priority but we would be more than set in that position should we bring in one more.
I’m still not over the fact that we’ve lost one the club’s greatest ever players, but I strongly believe we have nothing to worry about if we spend the money wisely. This is an amazing opportunity to sort out so many problems at Liverpool, none more so than at the back, starting with the goalkeeper. I firmly believe our best ‘keeper remains completely frozen out by Klopp, and that Danny Ward should be starting every game instead of Simon Mignolet, who is of course a great shot stopper but simply makes far too many mistakes. I’d love to see Kevin Trapp come to Anfield, and think we have a real chance of getting him now considering he warms the bench for PSG.
Given Coutinho’s free role on the pitch, I honestly think he’s impossible to replace, simply because there is no-one out there like him. There is, however, Alexis Sanchez, who would undeniably be my ideal replacement, and again another man whose current situation means we have a genuine chance to bring him in. I’d also love to see a world-class midfielder at the club, but no names spring to mind, maybe we’ll get Andres Iniesta when he inevitably loses his starting role to our beloved Brazilian. Julian Draxler is another name that causes huge excitement, while I’d also take Riyad Mahrez with open arms, but again, replacing Coutinho with a like for like change is an impossible task.