This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
It could be fair to say that selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January 2018 saw Liverpool lose one of their most influential players.
The Brazilian had just enjoyed his finest season to date at Anfield, notching 13 times and assisting a further seven in the Premier League as Liverpool secured a return to the Champions League in Jurgen Klopp’s first full season.
However, Liverpool have been nothing short of a remarkable success story since his departure. And since seeing him go to Spain for a reported £142m, the Reds have allocated their funds superbly well – winning the silverware to justify that notion.
Coutinho’s mid-season move followed that of Virgil van Dijk’s £75m switch from Southampton which had occurred just days before and saw Liverpool break the world-record fee for a defender at the time.
With the Dutchman in the running for next week’s Ballon d’Or, the club have every reason to suggest they broke even after their heavy outlay on the centre-back, and then some.
That is largely due to the fact that not only were Liverpool nearly £70m better off following Coutinho’s departure, their successes since then have vindicated their decision to let the winger go.
While looking to go one better this time around, Liverpool seem set to end their 30-year top-flight hoodoo, boasting a handsome lead at the top of the table with the Christmas period looming.
Meanwhile, on the continent, Coutinho has failed to replicate his Liverpool form to the point where after 21 goals in 18 months at Barcelona, he was shipped off to Bayern Munich on loan – where he recently netted his first goal for two months at the weekend.
Essentially, Barcelona would surely be hard-pressed to receive £142m for the player at present.
That has left former employers Liverpool to reap the rewards on both sides of the coin, having funded a Champions League-winning team with the help of selling a player that was critical in securing their path to mere qualification in 2016/17.
In other words, Liverpool could hardly have timed such a lucrative deal any better.
Should Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain be a regular starter at Liverpool?
Liverpool fans, did Barcelona overpay for Coutinho? Let us know in the comments below!
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