Jurgen Klopp has been told to ignore the clamour to re-sign Philippe Coutinho for Liverpool this summer as he’s a player the Reds “no longer need”.
The Brazilian star disappointed Liverpool when pushing through a £142million switch to Barcelona back in January 2018, but the move has proved a terrible career choice for Coutinho, who has since been farmed out on loan to Bayern Munich and now looks set to be allowed to leave for a cut-price £65million this summer.
And while reports in Tuesday’s European papers named Liverpool as one of five suitors who were all temped to take a nibble at Barca’s new lower fee for the player, former Reds striker John Aldridge has advised Klopp to stay clear.
And despite admitting Coutinho is still a “very good player”, Aldridge believes his return is not what Liverpool need.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Aldridge said: “I see the topic of whether Liverpool should try and bring Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield has reared its head again.
“For me, he was and still is a really good player and, with the squad we’ve got now I’m sure he’d do very well but I lean more towards the ‘never go back’ argument.
“It can work sometimes but he’s on a lot more money at Barcelona which could be a potential problem and of course there would be the question of how much cash Barca would want from Liverpool for him.
“I would imagine the squad would welcome him back as he’s a really good fella and I couldn’t see that being a problem but I just don’t see it as something I would go for if it was me calling the shots.
“Ultimately Coutinho chose to leave, we got top dollar for him and it’s worked in our favour.
“We went out and brought in Van Dijk and Alisson for pretty much the same money and you have to say we haven’t looked back since – European champions, world champions and a 22-point lead at the top of the league as we look to end this 30-year weight for a league title.
“I wish the lad well but at the end of the day what’s happened to him shows that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
“It used to be said years ago if you left Liverpool there was only one way to go and that’s down, and it’s a sign of the times that some players are now discovering that again.”
Aldridge can’t resist Emre Can jibe
Aldridge also has similar feelings about Emre Can, who left Liverpool on a free transfer in summer 2018, and another who the former Ireland striker reckons thought he was better than what he was.
“Another in the same boat is Emre Can. To be honest I always felt he was punching above his weight at Liverpool but he thought he could do better by moving on and it hasn’t worked out for him at Juventus,” Aldridge continued.
“He scored a fine goal on his debut for Borussia Dortmund at the weekend but the fact he’s had to go back to Germany to try and salvage his career says a lot and is a warning to others that you walk away from Liverpool at your peril.”
Aldridge, meanwhile, has waxed lyrical about the qualities of an exciting young Reds midfielder – and believes his emergence in the first team can save Klopp millions in the transfer market this summer.