Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has urged Jurgen Klopp to stay well away from Philippe Coutinho this summer.
Murphy has suggested that the Reds need to buy an upgrade on Bobby Firmino, and he sees Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele at that step up.
“Dembele would be a fantastic signing for Liverpool,” the former Liverpool man told Bwin. “He’s not had the best time at Barcelona, but clearly has an abundance of talent and the ability to win games by himself.
“If he can recapture his belief in his ability, then Liverpool would have a formidable front three with him, Mane and Salah. When playing to his potential, I think he would edge Firmino out the first team.
“Firmino is the type of player that would raise his own game and everyone’s around him if Dembele came in to the team.
“He’ll fight for his place week in week out and if you’re not giving your all on the pitch, then Firmino will be right there to take it.”
As much as Dembele would improve our team, I’m not sure I see the young Frenchman playing in Bobby’s role – I’d imagine it’d be Sadio Mane who’d be given a run for his money.
Most Liverpool fans on social media have called out for the re-signing of Coutinho, but Murphy doesn’t see eye-to-eye with this people as he views the potential transfer as a step in the wrong direction for the Reds.
“Liverpool would be taking a step backwards if they re-signed Coutinho – Coutinho is at his best when playing in a central three, not wide left.
“If he were to come back, he would change the dynamic of the team and it would disrupt the balance. Liverpool’s midfield three are all super-athletes who defend as much as they attack, which they’ll lose if playing Coutinho there.
“Klopp had the ability to try a different formation once Coutinho departed and the results speak for themselves. It would be risky to revert back to accommodating Coutinho.
“There’s always room for a creative player, but Liverpool should be looking at a player like Ousmane Dembele or Zaha, not Coutinho.”
While I agree that Liverpool do play differently from when Coutinho played for us, I don’t think our playing style has changed so much that the Brazilian would disrupt anything.
Phil would slot in on the left hand side of a midfield trio, in my opinion, but – like Murphy hints at – he’d have to be playing with defensive-minded players as he doesn’t give as much as a player like Jordan Henderson or Gini Wijnaldum.