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Why Liverpool should consider Coutinho return

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Why Liverpool should consider Coutinho return

Former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho is enduring a tough time at Camp Nou following his £105 million move from Liverpool to Barcelona last January.

Coutinho has failed to nail down a regular starting spot this season, starting nine league games and making 7 appearances off the bench for the Spanish champions.

Barcelona are enjoying another successful season thus far, sitting top of La Liga, still in the Champions League and still in the Copa Del Rey.

Though, they will need to come from behind to progress in the Copa following a 2-1 defeat to Levante in the first leg on Thursday night.

That was a game Coutinho actually scored in, firing home from the spot to keep Barca in the game after going 2-0 down.

But that didn’t spot manager Ernesto Valverde speaking about Coutinho’s uncertain future at Camp Nou, stating after the game: “When you do not play, and you are not happy, you have to fight to change the situation. Today was a match for that.

"Coutinho is a great player who has given us a lot and will give us a lot. I will say the same about Dembele. It's a repetitive question with interchangeable names."

Those comments have sparked a debate with all invested in Liverpool. Some fans can only laugh at Coutinho’s expense, relishing the fact that the former wantaway midfielder is having little luck with his new club.

Others are sensing an opportunity. Some fans believe Coutinho should be brought back to Liverpool should Barcelona make him available this summer. But is that a good idea?

Messi Coutinho Barcelona

Coutinho, the player

Coutinho may be struggling at Barcelona at the moment, but we can’t deny his ability. This a player who lit up Anfield in his five years on Merseyside, scoring 41 goals from midfield in his 152 appearances.

And don’t discount his success at Barcelona last season. He scored 10 goals in 22 games to help Barcelona to their latest league title after joining in January.

He may be struggling for form this season, but to make out that his move to Barcelona has been a total failure would be completely off the mark.

Barcelona have hardly been seamless as a team this season and Coutinho is one of a number of players to be playing below his best.

Coutinho is still a terrific player, so just based on whether he’s a player worth signing, the answer is yes, of course.

Philippe Coutinho

The finance

This would ultimately decide any deal made between Barcelona and Liverpool. Coutinho joined Barcelona for a fee of £105 million and there are also further clauses that could take that fee up to £140 million.

In reality, it’s unlikely all that money has been paid up at this point, so a move in the summer would likely include a cancelling of at least some of Barcelona’s payments to the Reds. That’s how these sorts of quick returns tends to work.

If offered at the same price, there’s virtually no chance Liverpool would take Philippe Coutinho back. This is a player who left Anfield in the best form of his life and he’s far from that level at the moment – that would have to be reflected in the price.

In fact, Liverpool would likely have to be offered a cut price from that mouth-watering £105 million fee to take back Coutinho to make sure they are getting the absolute best out of this deal.

Liverpool can do without the Brazilian, they are proving that at the moment. Would they benefit from his return? Yes, but they can also make do without him, so there would need to b some sort of financial incentive also backing up this potential deal.

Philippe Coutinho Brazil

The verdict

Liverpool are flying at the moment, sitting top of the Premier League and still in the Champions League. Life without Coutinho has proved to be nowhere near as grim as some associated and indeed not associated with the Reds feared.

In stark contrast, Liverpool have thrived without the Brazilian, continuing their improvements on the pitch under Jurgen Klopp.

They aren’t exactly desperately craving the return of Coutinho, who would likely get something of a hard time from the Anfield faithful for the way he left.

Jurgen Klopp also had some tough words upon his departure, so even he may not be craving his return this summer should be offered out by Barca.

Coutinho Klopp

The finance could change that. Barcelona likely still owe Liverpool money, and that puts the Reds in a favourable position as far as re-signing the midfielder goes.

For the same price as they sold Coutinho, at this stage, Liverpool know they can do better. There are better players available at the moment, and Liverpool are now an attractive club for bigger players, gone are the days that clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea are far more attractive.

However, at a cut, price, if Liverpool can make a profit and get Coutinho back in their midfielder, the decision to re-sign him should be a no-brainer.

So, in short, a financial incentive, then get Coutinho back to Anfield. No incentive, let the Brazilian figure out his troubles for himself at Camp Nou.