Reinvesting the Coutinho money: 5 areas that Liverpool need to address
It is official. Barcelona have agreed a £142m transfer deal for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and a medical is expected to be carried out on Monday.
This information comes as a blow to the Liverpool faithful who were still not over the match-winning goal scored by the new centre-back signing Virgil van Dijk in their FA Cup encounter against their Merseyside rivals.
A sale like that of Coutinho's could have a severe impact on the club performances. Liverpool had already experienced this once when they let go of Luis Suarez – the performances deteriorated and Brendan Rodgers, the then first-team manager, was relieved of his duties 15 months later. This sale could be even more catastrophic, considering that this has been done midway through the season.
Liverpool are still a work in progress, and it’s commendable that Jürgen Klopp has been able to get the best out of them – comfortably keeping them in the Top 4 race and helping them advance to the Champions League knockouts as group winners. However, this is where things could potentially go haywire as high-profile fixtures begin to increase.
It might make sense to hold on to the money and reinvest in summer, but considering that the Big Six of Premier League are all looking to make new additions and strengthen their squads, it becomes paramount to address the most basic of problems.
Considering that we live in a market of inflated prices, £142m may not mean a lot. But we still believe that the money should be enough for two or three smart signings that will severely boost the squad for the games and seasons to come. We take a look at the five areas that Liverpool need to address soon to successfully prepare for life without Coutinho.
It’s funny how no one still knows who deserves that #1 jersey. Simon Mignolet is a decent goalkeeper but hasn’t really made the step up over the last few years. A title-challenging club like Liverpool need a commanding figure between the sticks, and neither Mignolet nor Loris Karius have shown enough to be the first name on the sheet week in week out.
Liverpool have needed a goalkeeper, a permanent #1, for a long time now, and this looks like the perfect opportunity to sign one. With the World Cup looming around and players looking for continuous game time, there are quite a few options across European leagues that would benefit from a change in environment.
Kevin Trapp, the former #1 of PSG has endured a tough season, having been unable to displace Alphonse Areola from the first team. He would be looking for regular game time if he wants to be on the plane to Russia come this summer, and this could turn out to be a good signing for Liverpool for the next few years.
Other prospects that could be considered are Stoke City’s Jack Butland and Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno. However, both of them look difficult, with Stoke engaged in a relegation battle and Leverkusen in the race for a return to Champions League football.