At some point this season, we expect Coutinho to line up alongside Sadio Mane again, but for our next two fixtures, the Brazilian will be absent, with Jurgen Klopp only likely to pick him again once the transfer window closes.
But while Barca were ready to make our no.10 the second most expensive player of all time, it’s perhaps our no.19 they should have really been looking at.
Since Mane arrived, his statistics have far bettered his more glamorous and lauded counterpart.
Paul Joyce has crunched the numbers and explained in the Times that the Senegalese is actually the more effective and important player in regards to Liverpool’s chances of winning football matches:
“He has scored 15 goals in 29 Premier League games since his arrival from Southampton at the start of last season — one every 161 minutes. In that time, Coutinho has scored 13 in 31 matches at an average of one every 172 minutes. Liverpool have scored 57 goals when Mané starts, one every 39 minutes, compared with 48 goals when Coutinho begins, one every 45 minutes.”
Based on the beginning of this season, it very much looks like Mane will be Liverpool’s talisman.
Coutinho will have to get his head right after the club refused to let him leave, Mo Salah needs getting used to the club and and Roberto Firmino is inconsistent.
Last term, Mane was absent for two lengthy periods due to the AFCON and a nasty injury, but the tournament isn’t being held this term and he’ll hopefully stay fit. If he does, he’ll be a genuine competitor for Premier League Player of the Year.