It is fair to say that Liverpool fans in the Transfer Tavern are well and truly fed up with hearing about the future of Philippe Coutinho.
The narrative of Liverpool’s season so far away from the football pitch has largely been dominated by speculation regarding Virgil Van Dijk and Philippe Coutinho. At the end of December, Van Dijk’s ongoing transfer saga that began in the summer of 2017 was finally put to rest by the official confirmation from both clubs that the Dutch defender would become a Liverpool player on January 1st. After months of speculation, the resident Reds in the tavern were relieved to finally complete a deal, but they are still to have any closure with regards to the ongoing Coutinho story.
FC Barcelona’s pursuit of Liverpool’s Brazilian playmaker was one of the worst-kept secrets in football throughout the summer transfer window of 2017, and although they did not initially get their primary target, the re-opening of the January window will give them another opportunity to conclude a deal.
Although there has been no public statement of intent from Coutinho, reports in The Guardian last summer that claimed he submitted a transfer request strongly suggest that he has his hearts set on a move to Catalonia, and it is unlikely that his opinion has changed in recent months.
With that being said, Coutinho will prove to be a quintessential example of the development of player power in recent years.
It is not uncommon to hear a manager or football supporter claim that no player is bigger than the club, but in the modern era, the romantic idea that the collective is more important than the individual is rapidly becoming a concept which carries little substance.
If the player truly was bigger than the club, then Liverpool would either have sold Coutinho or hung him out to dry in the reserves this season, but instead they have allowed him to continue his career on Merseyside as if nothing had happened.
Now he looks destined to finally get his wish and move to Barcelona, and if he does complete a transfer this month, the entire saga will go to prove that the power of individual players is rapidly becoming greater than that of the clubs themselves.
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