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Liverpool must sign Thomas Lemar to replace Philippe Coutinho

oscarcole005
ANALYST
Feature
1.18K   //    08 Jan 2018, 19:47 IST

Monaco v Valencia - UEFA Champions League: Qualifying Round Play Off Second Leg
The ideal replacement for Coutinho?

When the news broke out that Philippe Coutinho had completed his move to Barcelona it wasn’t really much of a surprise given that the Spanish club had actively pursued his signature. The-25-year old has signed for the La Liga league leaders for a mammoth £142m, which has left a lot of questions at Liverpool. The Reds were reluctant to let him go, but the player felt that moving to Barcelona was an opportunity he could not pass on. Selling him in the middle f the season is what has surprised the fans the most.

He joined Liverpool for a modest £8.5m fee from Inter Milan and has now been sold for a hefty profit, though how the 5-time European champions replace him will show how fa Liverpool have actually come. A host of players have been touted as replacements for the classy attacking midfielder with some looking like downgrades while some are just downright confusing. Riyad Mahrez, Thomas Lemar and Manuel Lanzini are just a few of the players being mooted while the prospect of bringing Naby Keita early from RB Leipzig has been considered as well, according to reports.

Keita has already agreed to join Liverpool at the end of the season but it is believed the German club could be willing to fast-track the move as the 23-year-old has hampered the East German outfit with his attitude and ill-discipline. Of all the players being considered, France international, Thomas Lemar, looks like the perfect fit as he suits the profile of the kind of players Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp prefers.

Why Thomas Lemar?

AS Monaco v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg
Thomas Lemar in action

The former Dortmund manager is famed for his high pressing, or 'heavy metal football' and Lemar looks tailor-made for that Coutinho role. The Brazilian, in the early stages of his Liverpool spell, was deployed further forward but was used in a deeper role by Klopp this season as part of a forward trio or deeper in the centre of midfield to dictate play. He registered 12 goals in 18 matches this season, and considering the impact he had in the attack and midfield, Liverpool can't go wrong in replacing him.

Lemar was part of the brilliant Monaco side that swept the Ligue 1 last season. He played for Leonardo Jardim’s side as a left-sided attacking midfielder and as a central midfielder; the versatility is why he can succeed at Anfield. Alongside the likes of Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Bernado Silva and Kylian Mbappe, the little principality club won the French league, reached the semifinals of the Champions League and did well in the domestic cups.

However, with all four players having left Stade Louis II, Monaco have struggled, crashing out of the Champions League in the group stage and are nine points behind PSG, who are currently running away with the league title. Lemar has failed to hit the heights of last season, owing to the lack of quality alongside him, and is reportedly keen on leaving France in a bid to stake a claim as a starter for France at the World Cup later this year.

He was reportedly close to a move to Arsenal last summer as a replacement for wantaway striker, Alexis Sanchez but a deal failed to materialise. Reportedly, Arsenal also wanted him last summer but Liverpool can make a statement with Lemar. He draws comparisons with Coutinho as he can play multiple positions, is creative, young and has potential to be one of the world’s best players.

Lanzini isn’t Liverpool quality and Mahrez can only play in one position: the position Salah plays. It would serve both parties well as the player wants a move to England to show his quality on a grander stage.

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