The news that Philippe Coutinho is nearing the Anfield exit door to make his long awaited switch to La Liga giants Barcelona will not come as good news to many.
The Brazil superstar – who joined the club in early 2013 from Inter Milan – has established himself as one of, it not the, best player in Liverpool’s squad over recent years.
Skilful, inventive and with a touch of Brazilian flair, Coutinho has been a dream to watch for the most part of his Anfield career (especially when shooting from outside the box), and his departure will be a huge blow for the club.
Not only will the fans be disappointed to see the back of their star player, manager Jurgen Klopp to will sorely miss the midfielder – who has popped up with an impressive 12 goals already this season in what is looking to be one of the Red’s most campaigns in recent years.
His team-mates too will miss him. Eight assists this season show is far more than just soft on the eye. One man who will almost certainly benefit from Coutinho’s departure however, is Adam Lallana.
England’s Player of the Year for 2016 has endured a nightmare start to the season, having been ruled out with injury since September. He only recently returned to Jurgen Klopp’s side, much to the delight of the Liverpool fans.
However upon his return, Lallana – whose performances have been good it must be added – has struggled. Not in a personal sense, but in that he has been more often than not having to play out of position to accommodate for Coutinho in what is becoming an increasingly competitive midfield.
Utilised as a left-winger, or even slightly behind the Brazilian, Lallana has been excellent as usual, with his versatility serving him well, but you can’t help feel there is more to give. The former Southampton man is by far and away at his best in the number 10 role. While he may not offer the goals Coutinho does, Lallana is still a danger in behind the strikers and brings into play his team-mates wonderfully, and is one of only a handful of English players who you feel could cut it abroad in Europe’s other divisions such is his cultured style of play. While out wide however, Liverpool fans are treated to only 50% of what Lallana has to offer.
Coutinho’s imminent departure may be bad news for a number of reasons, but on the bright side, the Reds will in time have one of England’s most gifted midfielders back at his best and in the position he most favours.