Former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson says he would bring Philippe Coutinho back to Liverpool “in a heartbeat”.
The 26-year-old swapped the Reds for Barcelona in January 2018 in a £146million deal, but Thompson believes the midfielder could bring an extra level of creativity to Jurgen Klopp’s side that was missing at certain stages this season.
The ex-Liverpool skipper said that bringing Coutinho back to the Premier League for half of what Barcelona paid for him would be a shrewd bit of business.
He told Sky Sports News: “I would take him back in a heartbeat, but it would have to be now. 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.”
Coutinho has been strongly linked with a return to England following a quiet season at the Nou Camp, during which he has scored just five goals in 34 La Liga appearances.
Barca fans were left fuming at the team’s collapse in the Champions League semi-final hammering at Anfield last week and vented some of their anger at former Reds ace Coutinho.
And Thompson feels that Liverpool should try and take advantage of that unrest, as Coutinho could make the front three of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane even more dangerous.
He added: “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 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.”
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