Why Coutinho's imminent departure is a blessing in disguise for Liverpool
Coutinho looks destined to depart Anfield - but should Liverpool fans look at the bright side?
Philippe Coutinho looks to be on the verge of a sensational move to join Barcelona at the Camp Nou, and although his departure would see Liverpool lose a terrific talent, it might turn out to be for the best in the long run.
The Brazilian star is undoubtedly one of the most naturally gifted players strutting his stuff on the European circuit right now, but the signals coming from his side seem to be want-away ones.
Let's examine why the Reds might just be better off to see the back of their no.10.
Club needs players who want to stay
The argument that a world-class player giving 70 percent is always a better option than a very good player giving 100 percent doesn't quite add up. Coutinho's mind is made up about swapping Liverpool for Barcelona, and so it would be foolish to try and keep hold of him.
If he was persuaded to stay, there would no doubt be something missing from Coutinho's demeanour, spirit and attitude. Whether or not the former Inter Milan man will enjoy a better time with the Catalans is uncertain.
He would be joining at a time of upheaval and transition for Barca, and although the club would boast the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and potentially Ousmane Dembele, Coutinho would be joining a side with similar problems to the one he is departing.
Barcelona possess a defence that is unsure of itself, riddled with problems and flimsy to say the very least - plus, they are sitting in the shadow of their El Clasico rivals and very much under pressure to perform to special levels to bring the club back to greatness again.
So, from Liverpool's perspective, allowing the want-away star to go would mean they could air out their dressing room, offload the insidious negativity that could permeate the squad if he was forced to stay and set them on the road to veritable progress with a squad of players all eager to chip in and row in the same direction with enthusiasm, verve and energy.
Salah already good enough to fill his boots
It's no secret that Liverpool are weak in defence, but casting one's eye over the sort of forward firepower currently adorning their squad and it's clear to see that they are not lacking any quality attacking options.
In an ideal world, Liverpool would keep Coutinho and shoehorn him into the squad, but as it is already turning out, the formidable trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have formed quite the quick-forming bond that is sure to be a threat to anyone this season.
Plus, with English starlet Dominic Solanke in the wings and Daniel Sturridge potentially available for some parts of the season, they have a couple of out-and-out strikers with a proven record for scoring goals at their respective levels.
In particular, Salah looks like he has already secured Coutinho's place in the starting XI.
The ex-AS Roma wingman has taken to life with the Reds with ease and has already looked threatening in front of goal - switching places with his fellow attackers in pacey moves and even getting in behind defences to latch onto through-balls.
Salah has speed, close-control, an eye for goal and bags of eagerness to impress the fans and prove himself - that is always going to be worth more than the partial-desire of a footballer keen to get away to sunnier climes and more glamorous surroundings.
Cash injection can transform Pool
If Coutinho does go, as he is expected to, then he will surely fill the Liverpool coffers with plenty of cash for them to acquire some much-needed additions - all over the park.
Around £100 million-plus from the sale of their Brazilian playmaker would give them enough cash to acquire transfer targets like central midfielder Jean Michael Seri, long-time target Virgil Van Dijk and potentially another attacker (Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez would not be a bad selection).
A few months back, Jurgen Klopp promised fans the best transfer window in the club's history. Although that has not happened yet, and the departure of one of their best players would not be an ideal way to make it happen, Coutinho's sale could bring it closer to reality.
A lot of talk regarding the club's status is whether they should be a 'buying club' or a 'selling one', but that sort of discourse does not have to be so black-and-white.
After all, in order to become a buying club, they will need to sell, and these next few days and weeks could be crucial to the future of a newfound status in the coming weeks.