When Liverpool lost arguably their best player in the middle of the season in a record-setting €142 million move to FC Barcelona, the reaction from the English’s club staff was perhaps a bit incongruous.
“Liverpool executives hugged in euphoria for the economic feat they had achieved,” Diario SPORT reports.
The report goes on to say that Liverpool’s coach Jürgen Klopp, while publicly a huge admirer of Coutinho, was not quite the same in private.
Klopp “shed no tears,” the report says, because Coutinho did not fit into the team’s 4-3-3 formation that he wanted to implement. SPORT says the Brazilian didn’t physically measure up to what is expected when pressing without the ball.
Coutinho has had issues adapting to FC Barcelona, and there is a real risk of him fulfilling the prophecy that Klopp reportedly warned him of: “stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honor. Go somewhere else and you will end up being just another player.”
The Brazilian will get his chance to change the narrative as he is widely expected to start in FC Barcelona’s crucial UEFA Champions League match against Olympique Lyonnais.