John Barnes has said that a potential return for Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool would ultimately “uproot the balance” at the side and lead to a potential loss of goals.
The Brazilian’s move to the La Liga giants has not turned out exactly as one might have imagined the 28-year-old thought it would.
“Well, when we had a Coutinho-type of player we finished 20-odd points off the top,” the Liverpool legend told BonusCodeBets (via Goal). “So, although a Coutinho-type player may chip in with goals, which would create a completely different style of play, as a result the front three would score less.”
“If Coutinho came back, he would most likely be brilliant, but I don’t think the front three would be scoring as many goals, nor would they have the same impact, which a team like Liverpool needs,” the 57-year-old added. “At the end of the day, the balance is the most important thing for a team. And at the moment, the balance is perfect.”
While it may seem like a strange comment from Barnes, given our recent lack of goals since the 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace back in mid-December, however, it does actually make a lot of sense.
The club has come on leaps and bounds since selling Coutinho to Barcelona for an initial £105m in 2018, arguably an incredible piece of business considering who the Reds brought in with that money.
Signing the likes of Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk took us up a level, from title challengers to title-winners, but, more than that, the move allowed for an evolution in our style of play.
The former Liverpool fan-favourite conjured some magical moments for us whilst wearing the famous red shirt, but we’ve undeniably improved as a result of his departure.