With Liverpool securing a record size signing with the £36.9 million signature of Mohamed Salah; Jurgen Klopp is going to be left with a massive selection headache at the start of next season and it all centres around O Mágico, Phillipe Coutinho.
Klopp has seemingly made the decision of moving Coutinho to play midfield instead of the left wing position that he has been deployed in over the last few seasons, leaving our new signing, Salah to take the reigns playing alongside Sadio Mane on the wings, as part of our attacking trio. Given this, handyman Coutinho will also demonstrate his flexibility in playing left when Salah or Mane is unable to play..
Having Coutinho change position in light of the new season, may consequently have an affect on the midfield triangle. With Gini Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana and Captain, Jordan Henderson, renowned for their work as a trio, we could now see either Emre Can or a likely new signing from RB Leipzig, Naby Keita taking Wijnaldum or Lallana’s place. Keita is currently playing midfield in the Bundesliga for Leipzig and had previously turned down an offer from Arsenal yet has been targeted from LFC and is yet to confirm or deny his transfer to Liverpool Football Club though has stated that he “(hopes) that in two or three years (he) will be on a level to be able to play for one of the big clubs,” so with his price tag of €70.3 million, Keita could be firmly on his way to, not only becoming a credit to LFC, but also being the African player acclaimed with being the most expensive African footballer of all time.
Personally, I think that the Reds will benefit greatly from Klopp’s decision to move Phil as he definitely has the ability to play midfield, maybe even better than he played on the wing. Giving Coutinho the freedom to not be restricted to the sidelines will allow him to have a more creative approach to games and creates a better impact on the Reds as he will not have to leave his position. For example; last season Coutinho would have had to track back to get the ball, whereas after the new season begins, our Brazilian is able to use this new found liberty to move around the pitch more and exhibit his skill. The only downside to Coutinho moving, as far as I believe, is that he may be now scoring less goals since he will be playing deeper than usual.
Coutinho moving to midfield will, in theory, help improve the amount of goals per game. With Keita’s skills and technical ability the duo could dominate the middle third of the pitch against even the best sides of the Premier League. With regard to our potential new midfielder, we also need to address the fact that Marko Grujic would have a lower chance of being included in the squad as he would no longer, necessarily, be needed if other members of the squad are showing better potential.
I feel as though Salah is great addition to an already established team and will truly allow Coutinho to have the recognition he deserves from playing midfield. With this in mind, we see that Lallana, Can and Wijnaldum’s positions are in jeopardy as their places in the team could be used in favour of the Brazilian because Liverpool aren’t going to not play our record signing of £36 million since our previous record signing of Andy Carroll was absolutely crap and Fenway Sports Group will be eager to eradicate this from Liverpool’s fans minds.
Coutinho had been previously linked with a move away from Liverpool to Catalan Giants, Barcelona because of his
“ability to invent and create, to change the rhythm and to build play” – Tite, Brazilian National Team coach
alongside just being a sterling member of Liverpool Football Club. Barcelona were drawn to our magician due to the fact that he had 13 goals in 31 Premier League games which shows his incredible, undeniable talent, but Coutinho seems hell-bent on staying with the Reds and becoming a legend on Merseyside, so I think a move away from Anfield is unlikely, despite the friendship between himself and Barcelona superstar, Neymar.
Coutinho will be tasked with playing a much more influential role in the side next season and we will then see if he can truly live up to the moniker of ‘World-Class’ that he has been given by so many people from all over the planet.