Liverpool supporters have been reasonably downbeat in the Transfer Tavern in the last few hours after seeing their side concede a late equaliser to only draw 1-1 with Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with their bitter rivals off the back of three straight victories in all competitions, including a 7-0 hammering of Spartak Moscow earlier in the week to secure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League. And they looked on course for another three points on Sunday when Mohamed Salah brilliantly gave them a half time lead, however they were to be denied as Wayne Rooney netted a 77th minute penalty after Dejan Lovren clumsily felled Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the box.
Thus, there have been many despondent Liverpudlians in the Tavern in recent times after seeing their side fall a staggering 16 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City, while they are also unlikely to be thrilled by recent reports surrounding the future of influential star Philippe Coutinho.
The 25-year-old was subject of several big money bids from Barcelona during the summer yet Liverpool held firm to keep the Brazil international beyond the August 31 deadline, although reports suggest that they are willing to part with Coutinho if Barca meet their £120 million price-tag.
And while news of this latest development is unlikely to delight our resident Reds supporters, selling the attacking ace in January could well be the right thing for Liverpool to do.
Ultimately, his departure is becoming increasingly inevitable, with both he and manager Klopp pretty evasive in comments made regarding the situation last week, before Coutinho was surprisingly left out of the derby on Sunday, despite it seeming to be a game in which the Reds needed his ability in the final third.
And even if a move doesn’t happen in the January window, it’s highly likely to happen in the summer, so why not cash in now and look to embed other players into the team ready for a sustained Premier League title challenge next season? After all, they won’t be winning the league, with or without Coutinho, this term.
Arguably, given Salah’s remarkable start to life at Anfield as well as the impact Sadio Mane made last time out, the impact of his departure wouldn’t be felt as greatly as many perceive, as between the aforementioned duo and Roberto Firmino, they are capable of getting the goals and assists required to take Liverpool forward.
More importantly though, if Barca are to match the £120 million price-tag, it would give Klopp a huge sum of money to reinvest in other areas of the squad, those that arguably need strengthening ahead of the attacking ranks.
The left-back department remains unconvincing despite Alberto Moreno’s surprising return to form – that money could enable Klopp to go out and buy Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon or Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand.
The centre-back position remains a problem area and has done for some time – that money could enable Klopp to go out and buy Sevilla’s Clement Lenglet or Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.
Other areas, such as the goalkeeper and central midfield department, may also need bolstering, but it’s clear that this would be significantly more doable were they to cash in on Coutinho, and get the nine-figure sum they hope for.
Obviously, losing a player of Coutinho’s calibre would be a blow to any side in the league, but they have the attacking talent to minimise the impact of his departure, while they would be receiving a huge sum of money to pump into other areas in the squad.
Thus, selling the £58.5 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) could be the right thing for the Reds to do in January.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!