The Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted a lot of financial stress on clubs worldwide. Barcelona are one of the several clubs which have been financially impacted to a great degree. They were even forced to cut down the wages of players and staff and now have a new board to try and make sense of things and steady the boat.
The La Liga titans had paid an astonishing fee of around £150 million to acquire Coutinho’s services from Liverpool in January 2018.
It’s fair to say that the Brazilian international’s stay in Spain has been nothing short of a nightmare. Barcelona allowed Philippe Coutinho to move to Bayern Munich on a loan deal where he was able to win the Champions League last season. However, since returning from Germany, the 28-year old midfielder has struggled to impress Ronald Koeman.
Partly due to injuries, Coutinho has managed to muster merely 14 appearances across all competitions this season. In these games, he has been directly involved in only 5 goals. It looks like his fortunes are not going to improve if he remains at Camp Nou. The former Inter Milan midfielder requires a change of scenery in order to reclaim his form and the drive to keep going at it every week.
Having him off the wage books will also boost Barcelona’s finances. It’s a move that will suit both parties.
Do Liverpool need Philippe Coutinho?
Under Jurgen Klopp, Philippe Coutinho reached the peak of his career. In 201 appearances for Liverpool, he scored 54 goals and assisted 45 times. The Reds play in a system where they depend on their full-backs and forwards to create chances especially ever since the departure of the Brazilian. None of the midfielders has excelled in a purely attacking role after that. Naby Keita was signed two seasons back hoping that he could provide the attacking impetus but he failed to settle into the 4-3-3 system.
Liverpool signed Thiago last summer but the Spanish international is also yet to make his mark in the Premier League thus putting a lot of pressure on the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to conjure goalscoring chances on their own.
With Trent-Alexander Arnold being out of form for most of the season, the Reds struggled to create chances. They slipped to the seventh spot in the league but a late push helped them to seal the third position in dramatic fashion. But Klopp will be aware that luck had a huge part to play in his team’s late-season surge.
Philippe Coutinho will be a great attacking option for the club. With his vision and sharp distribution of the ball, he has the ability to create ample goal-scoring opportunities for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane up front and in the Brazilian, Klopp and many stars in the team will be welcoming a familiar face.
There will always be the issue of finances with the Reds given they are likely to bolster a couple of areas in the squad but Barcelona are not in the best position to negotiate given the form of the player and their own financial mess.