Football, Sport

Five players who could replace Coutinho at Liverpool

So Liverpool have finally sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a deal worth £146 million, ending a six month long saga that spread well into the beginning of this season. Now that he is gone, Liverpool will surely look for a replacement for their talisman; so here are five possible options they can look to spend the money on.

Riyad Mahrez

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Leicester’s star playmaker has struggled to find momentum since his side’s dramatic Premier League title victory in 2016 and a change of scenery could be just the trick to propel his career to the next level. He is a proven Premier League talent and a former PFA Player of the Year so he realistically shouldn’t find it difficult to adjust to life at Anfield. He seems tailor made as a Coutinho replacement with his trickery as well as a killer instinct in the final third.

Thomas Lemar

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The Monaco winger has been a constant transfer target for top Premier League clubs over the last couple of windows thanks to his instrumental role in Monaco’s Ligue 1 title run last season. The transfer fee would be excessive given the trouble the French side have had recently keeping hold of their top players, losing Kylian Mbappe and Tiemoue Bakayoko last summer. Although £90m may seem steep, it could be the difference for Liverpool as they seek a replacement for their creative key.

Mateo Kovacic

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A bit of a leftfield choice here, but Real Madrid’s midfield man has been in and out of the side this season and is reaching a spell in his career where he will need regular first team football to fulfill his enormous potential. Not to mention the fact we are entering a World Cup year and he will need to be on top form to assure a starting spot alongside a packed Croatian midfield, competing with the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic for a spot. A move to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool could be the dream move for both player and club, improving both considerably in the process.

Manuel Lanzini

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This is one transfer story which has become somewhat of an internet meme over recent months, especially with Liverpool’s usual transfer policy; but I think it makes plenty of sense. The West Ham attacking midfielder is a standout player in an otherwise average side at the moment and has been since Dimitri Payet’s exit, his creativity can unlock any defence and he could be a real asset to the Liverpool team. He is another that, with a great run of form, could force his way into a World Cup squad this coming summer so a move to Anfield where he is in a free-flowing side could work wonders for his career.

João Mário

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The Inter Milan playmaker had a marvellous summer last year, capturing the European Championships with Portugal and nearly joining Manchester United as a result. His form this season hasn’t been the best and he hasn’t been a regular in the side, but at 24 years of age his best years are still ahead of him so if Jurgen Klopp could entice him over to the North West of England they could have a genuine world class talent on their hands, the perfect hangover cure for losing a player as gifted as Philippe Coutinho.

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