17 Aug 2017

Philippe Coutinho: After his transfer request, should Liverpool keep or sell? [Poll]

The Philippe Coutinho saga rumbles on, and despite the conflicting stories/comments arising on a seemingly hourly basis, one thing is unambiguously clear: Coutinho wants out, and his recent transfer request categorically proves this.

Even if FSG pressgang him into staying for a few more months, the writing is on the wall, and whether fans want to accept it or not, Coutinho will be a Barcelona player sooner rather than later (as I've argued repeatedly for the last 18 months).

In April, I conducted a poll asking fans if Liverpool should sell Coutinho this summer. 57% argued YES, but only if the deal included Ivan Rakitic. Site regular Case has requested another poll to gauge the prevailing view amongst Reds fans, so here it is:

survey service

In my view, Liverpool should just sell Coutinho ASAP for as much money as possible. He is no longer the future of LFC, so there's no point keeping him. Plus, for all ability, Coutinho's goals/assists record has never been that impressive:

* Goals: Personal best = 14 in one season. Average: 9 per season (all competitions)

* Assists: Personal best = 9 in one season. Average: 8 per season (all competitions)

Are we seriously to believe that Liverpool is incapable of replacing an attacking player who contributes a meager 8 assists every season in ALL competitions? Coutinho's primary role is to create and score goals, but his goals/assist return is merely average. Plus, n terms of minutes-per-goal/assist, Coutinho is near the bottom of the pile in a 4-year comparative analysis of players who operate in similar positions (as I've illustrated with detailed stats in the past)

Coutinho may well improve his output at Barcelona, but where Liverpool are concerned, Coutinho is replaceable. If the Reds can bring in a player who consistently contributes 20-25 goals/assists every season, then personally, I'll be happy with that, even if said player isn't as talented as Coutinho.

That said, scoring is not Liverpool's problem. Even without Coutinho this season, the club has players who can (and will) score the requisite number of goals. Salah, for example, will (in all probability) pick up the Coutinho slack, which means Liverpool will lose very little overall in the goals/assists department.

We're not talking about a player who consistently has a Luis Suarez-type impact on the team (!). Coutinho's end product is average, yet despite that, he is currently at the apex of his transfer value. As such, if he wants out, now is the right time to cash-in.

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