Former Liverpool football star Phil Thompson, has admitted he would take Philippe Coutinho back at Liverpool ‘in a heartbeat’ as he feels the midfielder can ‘open the door’ for Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Coutinho, 26, who completed a £105 million move from Liverpool to Barcelona in January 2018, has had a miserable season at the Nou Camp and the Catalan giants are preparing to cash in on the play maker this summer.
The Brazilian has been the target of relentless booing and jeering from Barca fans in recent weeks and had to be consoled by his team-mates before he was substituted in the side’s 2-0 win over Getafe at the weekend. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly sanctioned a bid for Coutinho but any potential move is reliant on the club’s transfer ban being lifted.
If Barcelona are willing to do business for Coutinho, Thompson has urged Liverpool to provide an escape route for the Brazil international. ‘I would take him back in a heartbeat, but it would have to be now,’ the former Liverpool defender told Sky Sports. ‘You don’t want to leave it another 12 months, I think he still has the ability.
‘He’s suffered at Barcelona. We’ve seen him playing out wide on the left, but he’s not Neymar. ‘He likes to be in the middle where he can pull strings and is getting on the ball to hurt teams. ‘He doesn’t do that and he’s not a left-winger and that’s where he’s playing at Barcelona; they don’t love him like Liverpool loved him.’
Thompson believes there’s a possibility Liverpool inserted a buy-back clause in the deal which saw Coutinho join Barcelona. ‘He was that little bit clever, that creativity behind those front three that you could go to in games where you knew you were going to have the majority of the possession,’ he added. ‘He could open that door, he could score the goals that would get you the win.
‘I would have him back, I don’t know about the football club, but he is the one with that ability. ‘Knowing our club, we’ve been very shrewd, maybe there’s a buy-back clause in there for maybe less than half what we sold him.’