Thursday, December 1, 2022

Liverpool Decline The Chance To Re-Sign Barcelona Playmaker: Did Klopp Make The Right Call Here?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent print edition of Sport (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), Liverpool have chosen not to make a move to bring Philippe Coutinho back to Merseyside this summer. The same source has also mentioned that Bayern Munich have no intention on making the Barcelona playmaker’s loan deal permanent with several clubs ready to battle it out for his services during the summer transfer window (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

However, it is believed that the Reds are not in the race to sign him after the player has called them to ‘explore’ the possibility of a return to Anfield to which the club has replied with an unequivocal no as they ‘do not want him’ and have no plans to re-sign him in this off-season (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Coutinho’s Inconsistent Form At The Allianz Arena This Season

The 27-year-old has experienced a fruitful loan spell at Bavaria but is still performing nowhere near his best as he has often been guilty of being inconsistent and fading in specific matches. The Brazilian international has banged in nine goals and provided eight assists in 32 games for Hans-Dieter Flick’s side this term across all competitions. His stats prove that he still has a lot to offer on the field but can sometimes struggle to find confidence and give a good account of himself in the opposition half.

The Rio de Janeiro-born midfield ace has averaged 2.6 shots, 1.4 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per game in the Bundesliga this season. However, those numbers have gone up in Europe where Coutinho has averaged 3.9 shots, 1.7 key passes and 2.3 dribbles in every 90 minutes of UEFA Champions League football so far (stats via whoscored). The Brazilian is attempting more shots and completing more dribbles against high-calibre opponents in European football which suggests that he is not afraid of the limelight and could still be a potent goal-threat at the highest level when playing with confidence on the field.

Philippe Coutinho of FC Bayern Muenchen reacts during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on January 19, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Coutinho has also earned 61 senior caps for the Brazilian national team and has registered 17 goals for his country in the process. Brazil boss Tite will expect him to deliver on all cylinders when the next edition of the Copa America gets underway in the summer of 2021 after the prestigious tournament has got delayed as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

What Does The Brazilian Maestro Bring To The Table?

The South American is still one of the most technically gifted playmakers in European football as he boasts excellent ball-control and is full of tricks that allow him to be a constant menace for the opposition defenders. Coutinho can strike the ball with a lot of venom and precision from long range which explains how he has scored so many eye-catching goals during his loan spell in Germany. However, he has only managed to impress in patches this season. Coutinho has a low work-rate off the ball which can sometimes make him a liability on the pitch similar to what Mesut Ozil has been accused of at Arsenal in recent seasons.

Liverpool Have No Interest In Bringing Coutinho Back To Anfield: Did Klopp Make The Correct Call?

Therefore, it seems like a logical decision by Jurgen Klopp not to make a move for his former star this summer. The fact remains that Liverpool have performed immaculately since Coutinho’s departure to join Barcelona at the start of 2018. The Merseyside giants have gone on to lift the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup in the past 12 months and are also on the verge of ending their long wait for a Premier League title.

Liverpool do not need the Brazilian at the moment as all of their current first-team midfielders which includes Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have developed a strong understanding with each other. They have collectively performed well and become consistent as far as their all-around performances are concerned at the centre of the park. With all things considered, it makes sense for the Reds to opt against a move to re-sign Coutinho before the start of the new season.

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