Gini Wijnaldum has claimed that Liverpool’s players would have been happy for Coutinho if he’d sealed his dream move to Barcelona this summer just gone.
The Spanish giants were desperate to sign our Brazilian no.10 and bid £118m for his services, but Liverpool flatly refused to enter negotiations – much to the player’s dismay.
Coutinho went as far as handing in a transfer request, but FSG wouldn’t budge and the player has now scored two in two games since Jurgen Klopp reintegrated him into the side.
Wijnaldum told the Liverpool Echo: “It was difficult. Phil is a really good person, and we understood why he wanted to make the move.
“He’s someone who has always given everything for Liverpool. He has done a great job fighting for Liverpool.
“On one side, we would have been happy for him if he could have gone as he really wanted to make the move, but on the other side as teammates you want him to stay because you know with Phil we’ll be better.
“You can see it from both sides. Someone was going to be disappointed at the end of the transfer window, and it was Phil.”
Like Wijnaldum says, it’s understandable that Coutinho’s head was turned by Barca. He’s South American – and for them, the Nou Camp is mecca.
Not only would he be living in a warm, hispanic country, but his wages would have been doubled and he’d play alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez every week…
Having said that, we’re mighty pleased he’s still here.
Sadio Mane aside, he’s Liverpool’s best and most influential player.
If he does the business this season, we’d reluctantly have to accept his desire to move to Barcelona, providing they break the world record transfer fee to secure him in 2018.