What next for Liverpool as they begin life without Coutinho

What next for Liverpool as they begin life without Coutinho

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Life without Coutinho begins for Liverpool

It’s been a torrid few months of speculation for Liverpool fans around the future of Philippe Coutinho, but on Monday we all saw it finally come to a head with his mega money move to Barcelona confirmed. The Reds hierarchy managed to secure a deal that could rise as high as £142m for the 25 year-old, with £106m of that being paid up front which is incredible business for the club, especially when you consider that they shelled out just £8.5m to sign him back in 2013. But on the flip side of that it has seen the clubs standout attacking talent depart which could potentially derail what looks a promising season.

The remaining few weeks of the January window are absolutely massive for Jurgen Klopp and it’ll be interesting to see whether he sticks with what he’s got or goes out and spends some of the Coutinho money on bringing in a replacement. One thing for sure is that Liverpool are currently the best that they’ve ever been under the German and they could still make it a season to remember, but their chances have certainly been harmed by losing arguably their best player.

January spending spree on the cards?

The sale of Coutinho has angered so many Liverpool supporters. The way he went about leaving the club by going on strike and handing in a transfer request hasn’t gone down well but it’s important to remember just how fantastic the deal is that the Reds managed to get. Transfer fees are getting way out of hand at the moment and Liverpool have already had their say this window, shelling out a mega £75m on long-term target Virgil van Dijk to try shore up their defensive issues. But now with Coutinho gone, many are demanding that they go out this window and replace the attacking flair that they’ve lost, which won’t be easy. As mentioned, fees are at the highest point they’ve ever been and in January clubs tend to have to pay a premium to land their targets, which isn’t good news for Klopp.

There’s been some big names linked with a move to Anfield, with summer target Thomas Lemar believed to be towards the top of the German’s wishlist. Liverpool supposedly had a big bid rejected for him last summer and he would be an excellent signing for the Reds, but Monaco are standing firm on their ‘not for sale’ stance. Another man linked is Riyad Mahrez who’s been in sensational form for Leicester, the Algeria international is proven in the Premier League and can play anywhere along the forward line which could potentially make him appealing to Klopp – but this rumour doesn’t appear to have too many legs at the moment.

Thomas Lemar

Thomas Lemar is the man that most Liverpool fans are hoping for, but Monaco are insistent on retaining their prized asset beyond the January window

Time for a new talisman

Coutinho was a huge part of what Klopp was hoping to achieve at Anfield but there’s still an awful lot of attacking quality left at the German’s disposal. The enigmatic Brazilian’s departure has obviously left a big hole in the final third but the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are all proven match winners and they’ve proven that they can do the business without him. The Reds will still have that unpredictability and pace in attack and there’s now the possibility of one Klopp’s existing men going on and becoming the main man. Salah has signalled his intention of doing just that since arriving in the summer, scoring 17 Premier League goals in just 19 games and giving them a real outlet down the right.

Another huge boost for them is the return to full fitness of influential midfield man Adam Lallana. The England international has developed into one of the clubs top performers under Klopp and he’ll be like a new signing in the middle of the park. He’s started Liverpool’s previous two fixtures and if he can replicate his performances from last season he will be a major weapon in their armoury. Another man who’s bound to get more game time is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who’s shown flashes of what he’s capable of since joining from Arsenal, he just needs to do it consistently to justify his big price tag. So even if Liverpool do fail to land one of their targets they still have plenty of players capable of stepping up and coming up with the goods.

Coutinho SkySports

Coutinho was a massive player for Liverpool but they surprisingly have a better win percentage without the Brazilian this season. [Courtesy of SkySports]

What does the second half of the season have in store?

It’s understandable for Liverpool fans to feel concerned after losing their star man but this season still has an awful lot to offer. The Reds are currently on their longest unbeaten run since Jurgen Klopp joined the club (17 games), looking like a much more organised unit along with retaining their attacking prowess. They’re currently in fourth position in the Premier League, just two points behind second placed Manchester United with them looking well placed to end the campaign in one of those elusive Champions League spots.

They’re still actively involved in Europe’s elite competition too, with a very decent draw against FC Porto to come in February. They have a great opportunity to go deep into the tournament and it’s going to be interesting to see how they fare. But one thing for sure is that they have more than enough firepower to go toe-to-toe with most sides in Europe which makes them such an entertaining watch. They also have an FA Cup fourth round tie with West Brom to look forward to at the end of the month too, which represents a realistic piece of silverware as they look to end their six year trophy drought. This season still has a hell of a lot to offer for Liverpool and there’s certainly exciting times ahead for their supporters, even if they do fail to sign anyone to replace Coutinho.

Salah Mane Liverpool

Coutinho was hugely important for Liverpool, but in Firmino, Salah & Mane they have one of the Premier League’s most potent forward lines

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