PHILIPPE COUTINHO is less than two years into his dream move to Barcelona but the Brazilian ace is now strongly being linked with a sensational return to Liverpool.
The 27-year-old is set to be moved on from the Camp Nou after they signed Antoine Griezmann, with the Spanish club also looking to free up funds for one of their former players in Neymar.
Jurgen Klopp has so far only added 17-year-old Sepp van den Berg to his Champions League winning squad but a move for his former playmaker may take the Reds to an elusive Premier League title.
In the months before sealing a January switch to La Liga, Coutinho boasted a goal or assist every 73 minutes, better than the likes of Christian Eriksen, Mesut Ozil, and Kevin de Bruyne.
During the short time the Brazil international was playing behind Liverpool's fabled front three, the Anfield club averaged a goal every 23 minutes.
While his £145million sale was used to fund defensive improvements in the form of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, the Red are yet to replace their No10.
This meant that Liverpool's creativity usually fell to their full-backs, with none of their midfielders managing more than 5 league assists last year.
PHIL ME IN
While Coutinho has often been shunted out on the left flank at Barcelona, Klopp would likely redeploy the star in his favoured central role.
The former Inter Milan star could play on the left of a midfield three, with Fabinho finding form as Liverpool's shield at the end of the campaign.
In games where the Reds would expect to dominate, Coutinho could then be pushed up to play just behind compatriot Roberto Firmino in a 4-3-2-1.
This would leave Klopp flushed with options with Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both able to operate in attacking midfield.
While the German would also have Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, and Naby Keita to utilise should he feature his preferred 4-3-3.
COUT AND PASTE
Klopp would likely prioritise playing Fabinho and Jordan Henderson alongside Coutinho to reduce the defensive responsibilities on his playmaker.
While the Brazilian has struggled at Camp Now, he still possesses a healthy 21 goals from 76 games from the left-wing, meaning he also has the benefit of acting as cover for Sadio Mane.
The Senegalese was one of three Golden Boot winners last year, but his AFCON exploits mean he will need to be used sparingly in the next few months.
Champions League hero Divock Origi can also play on the left after committing his future to Anfield.
The Belgian is set to act as deputy to Firmino, with academy prospect Rhian Brewster another option as he continues to impress in pre-season.
Meanwhile, Mo Salah was also involved in international duty this summer, but both Chamberlain and Shaqiri were at Melwood from the beginning of July.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson became the first two defenders from the same team in Premier League history to register double-digit assists in a season.
Klopp has welcomed back Nathaniel Clyne after his loan spell at Bournemouth, while he also teased he will be in the market for a back-up left-back.
Player of the Year van Dijk can resume his partnership with Joe Gomez, after the duo kept seven clean sheets before the latter's leg injury in January.
A resurgent Joel Matip is also hoping to push for a starting place, with Dejan Lovren is set to stay at the club despite transfer interest from Italy.
Simon Mignolet will take charge of the Reds domestic cup competitions after Klopp confirmed he needed a trusted understudy to Golden Glover winner Alisson.
Source: Read Full Article