18 Mar 2016

Not Good Enough: Expert claims 'amazing' £41m Liverpool star is 'not Barcelona material'. Agree?

In his recent autobiography, Reds legend Steven Gerrard predicted that Liverpool will lose 'amazing' attacker Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a 'few seasons', but according to Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague, the Brazilian maestro is not good enough to play for Barca.

When asked today about the Barcelona rumours, Balague claimed:

"He [Coutino] is not Barcelona material. He is miles away from being a Barcelona player. He has a lot of potential, but in that department they are sorted."

Several big names appear to disagree with Balague, though:

* May 2015: Ronaldinho told the Daily Mail: "I know what Barcelona look for and [Coutinho] has those qualities. They'd be the perfect fit".

* Aug 2015: Luis Suarez enthused: "My favourite player in the Premier League is Philippe Coutinho".

* Sep 2015: David Luiz mused: "The best need to be playing with the best. If Liverpool don’t qualify for the CL, he [Coutinho] will be the most in-demand player in Europe".

* Sep 2015: Neymar told ESPN: "I see many Brazilian players with quality, but one that I like and I think could play here is Coutinho. He has the style of Barcelona."

In my view, it's nonsense to to suggest that Coutinho is 'miles away' from being a Barcelona player. He is prone to inconsistency, but the Brazilian's talent is undisputed, and he'd almost certainly up his game playing alongside the likes of Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Busquets at al. Right now, Coutinho plays alongside comparative dross, and certain players just aren't on his elevated creative wavelength.

With Jurgen Klopp now at Anfield, the chances of keeping £41m-rated Coutinho long-term can only increase, but even with a top-class manager at the helm, the lure of the Nou Camp may ultimately prove to be too strong.

I personally can't see Coutinho staying at Anfield in the long-term *unless* Liverpool qualify for the Champions League in 2016-17.

Author: Jaimie K


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