LIFE AFTER COUTINHO: 5 POSSIBLE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE OUTCOMES FOR LIVERPOOL
It’s official: Philippe Coutinho is no longer a Liverpool FC player. It was announced yesterday that the Liverpool management had finally succumbed to the pressure from the FC Barcelona management and the player himself, to agree on the second most expensive transfer deal in football history (which of course may be the third by January, if PSG do exercise the deal with Monaco to Kylian Mbpape after this season’s loan deal). Yet, like in the past seasons, Liverpool fans will again have to imagine a life without a crucial player mid-way in the season.
Many renowned football pundits are asking publicly whether the deal was even necessary at this stage for Coutinho considering that he won’t be able to play in the Champions League for the rest of the season, while Liverpool were not just playing in the same tournament, but have a pretty strong lineup that has produced victories on a regular basis without him. However, the transfer is already through and Coutinho isn’t going to wear a red shirt again (at least in the near future). In fact, fans who bought Coutinho replica shirts for the season are already being refunded by the club.
So what are the possible outcomes that will come out of this deal? Here are # positive and negatives that may realistically affect Liverpool in the near future.
1. Liverpool may be in one of the best financial conditions this season
£142 million: that’s the massive amount that FC Barcelona had to pay to Liverpool FC to get the services of Philippe Coutinho. Over £100 million will be paid to the club in cash right away, which around £38 million is expected to be received by the club over a period of 4 years in the form of add-ons. However, Inter Milan, the Brazilian’s former club, is going to be a beneficiary in this deal with Italians expected to get around £7 million. With the new Premier League deal and such a massive transfer budget, Liverpool may come out as the club with one of the biggest pockets in Europe going into next season.
2. The club may not even miss him a lot
This season, Liverpool have won several fixtures without Coutinho. Of course, he had a crucial role to play in a few games too and let’s not forget that he was the only hattrick scorer for Liverpool in the season. But unlike last season, Liverpool’s line-up boasts a lot of quality players that can easily fill in the void left by him. Considering that the likes of Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge and Oxlade-Chamberlein haven’t featured in a lot of games, while even Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have been benched a couple of times, Liverpool’s attack will continue to threaten oppositions despite the absence of Coutinho. In fact, promising young players like Ben Woodburn and Dominic Solanke may also find plenty of opportunities to shine in the squad. With a quality freekick taker like Van Dijk in the squad now, Liverpool may also not miss his free-kicks a lot.
3. The club may put the cash to strengthen the squad this season
If you believe reliable sources, there are high chances that the Reds might buy a couple world class players in this transfer window. After the signing of Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool’s defense already seems to be better compared to the whole in 2017. But Liverpool may even sign a specialist defensive midfielder that may make the squad a lot more effective against their oppositions.
4. Liverpool may get more overpriced deals
Considering the mammoth amount that Liverpool spent on Van Dijk and then this massive amount that they got for Coutinho, clubs dealing with Liverpool may not settle very easily. In fact, even an average player linked with the Reds may be automatically priced high by their current clubs. It wasn’t long ago that even a sum of £100 million was considered ludicrous and unbelievable, but those figures are now easily being passed in every transfer window. So, perhaps Liverpool may need to break more price records in the upcoming season to get their desired players.
5. Players may force unfavourable transfer deals away from the club
While Liverpool haven’t been as dependent on Philippe Coutinho as they were in the last season, nonetheless, he had been a crucial player in the Reds formation till December and so was on the radar of several top clubs in Europe since last season. Although the club successfully held their position that ‘Coutinho wasn’t for sale in the summer’, the approaches from Barcelona still managed to unsettle the player, which ultimately saw the player force his leave at this time of the year, despite the obvious disadvantages to himself. Considering that similar strategies were applied in the case of Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling, Fernando Torres and lately even by Emre Can to an extent, it may become harder for the Reds to retain their best talents in the future if they are under the radar of other top clubs. Thus, looking at the trends Liverpool’s may need to address the issue more quickly.
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