The Liverpool fans have been in a buoyant mood in the Transfer Tavern of late due to their side’s imperious form both domestically and in Europe.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were tipped to struggle for the remainder of the season following the departure of Philippe Coutinho in January, but those predictions have been wildly off the mark so far. Liverpool have arguably played their best football all season in Coutinho’s absence as the front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah have consistently stolen the headlines with their dazzling performances at the spearhead of the attack.
However, Liverpool’s ability to cope with Coutinho’s absence does not suggest that they should forget about replacing him in the next transfer window, as the club must continue to strengthen if they wish to challenge Manchester City for the title next season. With that being said, The Red should consider making a move for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder Bernard (valued at £14.4 million by Transfermarkt).
So far this season, Bernard has 10 goals and 3 assists from 27 appearances in all-competitions, including a magnificent curling effort against Manchester City back in the Champions League back in December 2017. The 25-year-old midfielder is set to become a free agent when his contract expires in June, and according to Goal, he has no desire to sign an extension with his current employers.
In this day and age it is rare to find a player of Champions League quality who is available to sign on a free, so Liverpool would be foolish not to at least consider the possibility of signing him in the summer. Although Bernard undoubtedly represents a bargain signing, it must be considered that he may not initially represent a direct replacement for Coutinho, as he typically prefers to operate from the left-side of the pitch rather than through the middle.
However, he has played in the number ten role before, and his style of play suggests that he possesses all of the technical qualities that would be needed to adapt to a free role in the Premier League. A move to the Premier League would be a huge step up for Bernard and it would certainly be a gamble for Liverpool, but considering he would be available on a free, it’s a risk that’s well worth taking.