Coutinho moves on – and he deserves a better send-off

Coutinho moves on – and he deserves a better send-off

Bid submitted. Bid rejected. Improved bid lodged. The trick was repeated. Bid significantly enhanced. Liverpool refused to let up. That was the tale of Barcelona’s three failed bids over the summer, as they pursued one of Europe’s most exciting players, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho. But that did not deter the La Liga outfit’s efforts in their pursuit of the gifted Brazilian.

The chase for the 25-year-old’s signature ranged from the spectrum of official contact with English side to talks with the player’s agent. And the consequences of Barcelona’s efforts to relocate Coutinho to Camp Nou sparked the midfield maestro’s decision to submit a transfer request during the summer – albeit the move did not materialise. Even sports apparel manufacturers, Nike, recently got in on the action as they cheekily used the now former Liverpool star to promote the Catalan side’s merchandise on an advert which read, ‘Philippe Coutinho is ready to light up Camp Nou.’ It was hastily deleted, but its impact reverberated across the footballing world. But all this may soon be forgotten, as finally, after months of negotiations, the Brazilian has clinched his dream move to Barcelona for a fee of £142 million.

Not too long ago, the Merseyside outfit announced the capture of long-term target Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for a club record £75 million. In doing so, the 26-year-old became the world’s most expensive defender. While the astronomical transfer fee temporarily signalled to the world that Liverpool had joined the super-rich clubs with a capacity of spending staggering fees on plum signings, Coutinho’s movement days later ensured that thought was not entertained but stayed a fallacy. If anything, Liverpool were fishing for a bargain in what is a hyper-inflated market, perhaps learning from Barcelona’s mistake of letting the mercurial Neymar go for north of £200 million, only to be arm-twisted into parting with almost half the treasure chest on 20-year-old talent, Frenchman Ousmane Dembélé.

But take heart from the whole Coutinho fiasco, Liverpool fans. While his absence may be unwelcoming with his transfer leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of many, at least he gave everything for the shirt. Thus, the vile being spewed by the faithful – while partly understandable – should quickly subside to make way for a better send-off.

All through his six seasons with the Kop, he gave, gave and gave. A total of 202 games saw a handsome return of 54 goals. And all this, while not having lifted a major trophy with the club. Even after his move to Spain was blocked in the summer, much against his sincerest of wishes, the Brazilian buckled down from the disappointment and continued giving his all for the revered red jersey. And along with Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino, he has – up until December – been part of a mesmerizing attacking contingent, the Fab Four, as they were affectionately referred to as. The club has a lot to thank him for, despite their failed attempts to convince him out the move.

So, as Liverpool embark on yet another phase in the club’s dotted history, let Coutinho’s departure not be punctuated by sourness and vile from fans. Instead, as painful as the reality may be, let his departure be one of a grateful send-off for a player who has time and again exhibited immense quality and passion for the Liverpool cause. He has – even after submitting a transfer request – selflessly contributed to the Merseysiders’ efforts in clinching silverware. And now, almost in his prime years, the Brazilian will relish the opportunity to further enhance his qualities and careers as he plays alongside to the top echelon of world football players. And now, more than ever before, he looks likely to lift silverware. Unfortunately for the Reds, it will not be with their side.


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  1. Liverpool basically swapped Coutinho for Van Dijk and 70 million combined. I think it’s one that will come back to haunt them like the Suarez deal but if they strengthen well in the summer and may be go for someone young like Pulisic then the transfer chiefs will be forgiven. It’s a wait and watch for everyone and I’m hoping Van Dijk is the new Jean-Alain Boumsong. Fair to say Coutinho will not be walking alone with all those trophies in Catalonia.

    • I agree with you; if they strengthen well, they may not entirely feel the pinch of what seems to be an economically great piece of business.

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