Over the last couple of weeks, both Philippe Coutinho and Jack Grealish have been linked with Liverpool. Reports have said Coutinho will be looking for a new club after failing to nail down a starting place at FC Barcelona. The Brazilian left Liverpool back in 2018.
But while Coutinho has grabbed the limelight with plenty of transfer speculation, Grealish has been focusing on keeping Aston Villa in the Premier League for next season. Both players have high profiles, but who would suit Klopp’s system more?
The 27 year-old Brazilian has struggled to show his star quality since leaving the Premier League. His first season at FC Barcelona had a negative impact on the team, so he was shipped out to the Bundesliga and was loaned to FC Bayern Munich. Since joining the German champions Coutinho has scored eight goals in an impressive 15 appearances for Munich in the league. His skill and trickery really showcased his ability, however in recent matches he has struggled to get into the starting eleven.
Coutinho has worked under Klopp before – the Brazilian offers versatility to play in a variety of positions across the front three and the midfield three. However the question remains: could he return and guarantee a place in the European champions’ team?
The Catalan giants are looking to move the Brazilian on, but they are wanting to recuperate most of the fee they paid Liverpool back in January of 2018. It is rumoured that the Spanish team want around 70 million pounds for the playmaker. Would this deal make sense?
This move would be a controversial one as Coutinho forced his way out of the club to secure his ‘dream move’ back in 2018. It’s very difficult to see Liverpool spend that amount of money on a player who might not feature in the first team week-in week- out. It’s also rumoured that Barcelona still owe Liverpool a proportion of the original fee.
However, if this move does happen I can imagine that Coutinho would play as an advanced attacking midfielder to support the front three. Given the way Klopp plays he could also play as a false 9, linking the play to the advanced wingers and providing an alternative to Roberto Firmino in that role.
The 24 year-old Englishman has sparked a lot of interest after an impressive Premier League campaign so far. The Villa playmaker has been influential in keeping Dean Smith’s side within touching distance of Watford who are just out of the relegation places, by a margin of just two points.
Grealish has been pivotal to the way Villa play: he has contributed 7 goals and 7 assists in the Premier League so far. This form has made him a name that numerous clubs have been linked with, including other Premier League heavyweights.
For the Midlands side he predominantly plays on the left-side of a front-three, however likes to come into the centre of the pitch to get more involved in the overall play of the game. As the Villa captain he works tirelessly for the team, the Englishman embodies a good work ethic that Klopp likes to have in each member of his squad.
However, the move may be based on whether Aston Villa get relegated to the Championship or manage to stay in the Premier League for a second successive campaign. And being the club captain of Villa the asking price is going to be high for their young star.
Grealish is a player who can play in an advanced midfield role or on the left of a three. However with Mané occupying that position it is a case of whether he wants to fight for a place in the Liverpool team or stay where he is and play week after week. Competition will be strong as the likes of Naby Keita or Takumi Minamino could be utilised there, too. There’s also Grealish’s bad boy reputation to consider – not something that Klopp would tolerate.
Who would suit Liverpool more?
Both players possess that star quality, however both are very similar in the way they like to play. Klopp would have a better understanding of what Coutinho could offer this Liverpool team, because of his history at Liverpool. However, Grealish being younger could develop into a player that Klopp wants. Last summer Liverpool only secured the signing of Van Den Berg so money won’t be an issue, especially as Lallana’s wage bill will be offloaded.
I think Coutinho would be the better option. He’s proven at the highest level, would really welcome a return to Anfield and there are no doubts about his attitude.
But what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.