Liverpool fans have every right of being miffed, having lost arguably their best player in Philippe Countinho to the might that is Barcelona for a reported inital €120 million transfer fee plus €40 million in variables. But it is a deal that was somewhat inevitable with the Catalans having registered their interest in the Brazilian international during the summer to replace the PSG-bound Neymar.
But what next for Liverpool? They spend an enormous amount on acquiring Virgil van Dijk from Southampton (a player the were keen on during last summer also). But Jurgen Klopp will be more than aware that he would need to strengthen his goalkeeping situation. I feel that Loris Karius is a decent goalkeeper, but not at a sublime level needed to keep out the plethora of strikers itching for goals in the level of the Premier League. As for Simon Mignolet, personally I feel his time at the Merseyside club is done.
Their midfield may need strengthening too. Jordan Henderson is a decent leader for the Reds and I can’t see him going anywhere anytime soon. Georginio Wijnaldum is superb too. But with Emre Can agreed a pre-contract with Juventus for next summer, don’t be surprised if Klopp tries to acquire the services of the frankly brilliant Leon Goretzka or outrageously gifted Max Meyer, both from Schalke, and both players’ contracts run out this summer. As does a certain Mr Wilshire from a certain north London club.
I think it’s an interesting time to be a Liverpool fan. The club face FC Porto in the round of 16 in the Champions League. A betting man could be forgiven for expecting them to go through. They currently lie 4th in the Premier League and are still in the FA Cup. They may have lost a Brazilian magician to Barcelona, but they have been doing well thus far and life there won’t be much of a Coutinho-shaped hole in Liverpool as you’d expect.
Follow Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)