After the frustrating Philippe Coutinho transfer saga came to an end, it’s worth remembering what an exceptional talent Liverpool can now welcome back.
The manner in which the playmaker pursued a move to Barcelona has left him exposed to deserved criticism, but by no means dismissed just how pivotal he could be for the Reds this season.
Four years since earning his £8.5million move from Inter Milan, Coutinho now faces the most important season of his career so far and one in which many expect him to advance his own game to a world class level.
One Brazilian legend, in particular, has gone as far to suggest he is capable of one day competing with the world’s very best for the most prestigious individual award.
After being questioned whether or not Neymar could win the Ballon d’Or, Pele told Spanish publication Marca: “Coutinho is a player I think we should all look at too because he is excellent for his team.”
“No doubts at the moment though that Neymar is the one.”
When asked if Coutinho needed a move to Spain, he added: “No. You don’t necessarily have to change teams all the time to prove you are good. It all depends on taking your opportunities.”
Challenging for the honour of being labelled the world’s best seems a stretch for Coutinho at this moment in his career, but something that beckons for him in years to come- if he takes the right path.
Right now, his focus must not only be on reintegrating with the Liverpool squad, but also earning his place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting lineup.
He has a lot to make up for over the next few months and added room for improvement.