Barcelona ace Neymar has suggested that Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho would be perfect for the club, but is the Brazilian international right?
Coutinho has proven with goals like the strike below against Manchester City that he deserves the attention of the top clubs from around Europe, and his general ability on the ball has seen him take up a more prominent role for Liverpool so far this season.
However, if Brendan Rodgers’s side continue to struggle and fail to qualify for the Champions League again this season, legitimate questions will be asked about whether or not Coutinho will stay at Anfield.
The 23-year-old remains a key component for the Reds, with his vision, pace, dribbling ability and finishing all ensuring that he has established himself as one of the most talented players in the Premier League.
His loyalty may well be tested more strenuously in the coming months, but the former Inter starlet will continue to prove that he has all the characteristics required to flourish with the Catalan giants.
Neymar was speaking at a PR event and revealed his desire to see his international teammate join him at club level.
“I think there are many players with great qualities that could be playing for Barcelona,” he said, according to Sky Sports.
“One of them is [Philippe] Coutinho. He is a great player and his style suits Barcelona.”
Although Andres Iniesta is still far from being a player on the decline, it is fair to suggest that the 31-year-old will eventually start to show signs of falling short of the standards he has set over the last decade.
The Spaniard has been an integral part of the success that he has enjoyed for both club and country, and replacing him will be a huge, if not impossible, challenge.
However, Coutinho’s ability to operate in the hole and link play between the midfield and forward line, as well as quickening the tempo and pace of the passing and general play sees him emerge as an almost ideal replacement for Iniesta.
While the pair stand out individually for their unique brilliance, comparisons can be drawn in their play and perhaps Neymar has identified that and it is a reason behind making his statement.
It remains to be seen whether or not Liverpool fail to meet their objectives this season, while it is unclear as to how long Iniesta can continue to produce at the top level.
What is clear though is that Coutinho would be a fearsome addition to a Barcelona squad that would see their attacking trident of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez thrive with the Brazilian pulling the strings behind them.