Liverpool and Everton are reportedly set to battle it out for Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho who continues to struggle at Camp Nou.
The Brazilian midfielder was a bonafide superstar during his time with Liverpool. He spent five seasons at Anfield, graduating from a promising talent into a world-class match-winner. He made 201 appearances for the Reds, scoring 54 goals and assisting 45 more.
At his departure, Coutinho was arguably the club’s most valuable asset. The big-money move to Barcelona has, however, failed to hit the mark. Coutinho has had his moments but has been unable to reach his expected levels. There appears to be no way back for the 29-year-old in Catalonia, and a change of scenery could be on the cards.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have done well following the Brazilian’s sale in 2018. While Liverpool could do with a creative presence in midfield, whether bridges have been burnt to the point of no return is the question.
Coutinho is already familiar with the Reds’ front three, having formed a fearsome foursome in the first half of the 2017-18 season. While there is an argument to bringing back the midfielder, the manner of his departure to Barcelona left a sour taste in the mouth. The opportunity to play for Klopp is not something that comes along very often, and right now, Coutinho needs Liverpool more than the club needs him.
A move to Everton will certainly see him lose any semblance of the affinity he still shares with Liverpool fans. But then it will also signify the Brazilian’s fall from grace since he turned his back at the Reds. Given the gulf in class between the Merseyside duo, Coutinho sporting the blue would be a shining monument of his poor career decision-making.
But then, having lost James Rodriguez, Everton needs a creative tour de force in midfield. Coutinho certainly fits the bill and has also worked with Rafael Benitez during their time at Inter Milan. While moving to Goodison Park is certainly a backward step, Coutinho needs to reignite his flagging career. From a personal point of view, Everton might not be the worst side for him to take his talents to.
Defending Serie A champions Inter Milan are also in the fray for the player’s signature. The Nerazzurri parted ways with Christian Eriksen and could do with another option in midfield. Coutinho took his first steps in European football at Inter. A return to the San Siro will certainly bring his career full circle.