I was having a beer after work when I first saw the news. The headline emboldened across my screen read: “Barcelona chasing Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho.” I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
Seeing the diminutive Brazilian in the midfield of the Blaugrana was an exciting prospect but despite Barca being my number one team, I also follow Liverpool. I felt torn.
I quickly downed my beer like a construction worker who’s had a long day in the sun whilst I took in every word of the report and despite such transfer rumours often being just that, rumours, I thought this would likely come to fruition in the near future.
Fast forward a few months and the amount of words penned about Coutinho’s transfer to Barcelona would be enough to fill a tome comparable to War and Peace. Such is the theatre of modern day football journalism.
Coutinho himself has stated his willingness to sign and one gets the feeling that’s it’s a matter of when, not if, Coutinho will join the Catalan team but the big question, at least for me, is whether or not Barcelona need him as much as Liverpool do?
It’s a query I’ve asked myself countless times over the last few months and perhaps my passion for both teams lead me to a compromise of sorts but it’s clear now that Liverpool can indeed afford to let the Brazilian go. For the right price anyway.
The team from Anfield have as potent an attack as almost anyone in English football right now. The emergence of Mo Salah this season, combined with the reliability of Roberto Firmino up front, and the class of Sadio Mane have seen the Reds score 38 goals in the Premier League thus far.
Add to that the opening of the floodgates that has been their Champions League campaign and you have a team that has little trouble finding the back of the net. It’s the other end of the pitch that hasn’t been so pretty.
Liverpool’s poor defence is well documented and it’s this disparity between their attack and defence that has me convinced Coutinho will indeed become a regular at the Camp Nou.
The summer transfer window saw Liverpool playing hardball and flat out refusing to let go of the Brazilian star but with a few months of varying success in the Premier League, now is the time to cash in for them.
They desperately need to bolster their backline and the injection of cash for Coutinho is the solution to such a problem. This move will be a win-win for both teams. Coutinho will be an outstanding addition to Football Club Barcelona.
In nine appearances in a midfield role this year-the position he would most likely fill for Barcelona-Coutinho has scored seven goals and assisted three. His ability to make accurate short passes and his creativity with the ball at his feet are qualities that would suit the way in which Football Club Barcelona play.
With an ageing Andres Iniesta and a few midfielders of a defensive persuasion, Coutinho’s creativity will be a huge benefit to a Barcelona team that has been missing a little something in attack since Neymar left.
After such a long drawn out saga and a few moments of doubt as a fan of both teams, I’ve come to believe the move is best for both teams.
I’m looking forward to reading the next big headline, “Philippe Coutinho signs for Football Club Barcelona.”