Liverpool have been linked with a move to take Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield in January as they search for a number 10 to help them win a second Premier League title. The player left Merseyside for Barcelona in 2018 but has flopped in Spain.
Coutinho excelled during his half a decade in England, scoring 54 goals and contributing 45 assists in 201 appearances for the Reds.
He departed for Barcelona for £142million and was tipped for big things in Spain. But it hasn’t worked out for him in La Liga and the Catalonians are apparently keen for the playmaker to leave.
Coutinho looks a shadow of the player he was at Anfield – and Rickie Lambert should serve as a warning for owners Fenway Sports Group to bypass the transfer.
Lambert spent five years in the Liverpool academy before leaving to join Blackpool in 1997.
The powerhouse forward started to make a name for himself in the lower echelons of the Football League and eventually secured a move to Southampton, who were playing in League One at the time.
But the forward had to settle for a place on the bench as the season got underway and failed to command a regular starting place in a team which included Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Coutinho himself.
The 39-year-old scored just three times in 36 appearances for the Reds before being sold to West Brom less than a year later. His career never recovered and he eventually retired in 2017.
Liverpool may feel they were right to let Lambert go as a 15-year-old and they may also feel they were right to let Coutinho depart nearly four years ago.
The midfielder just can’t produce the goods like he used to and it would be a huge shame for player and club to blemish the fond memories they currently have. Don’t let sentiment rule again.
“I was 32 as well,” Lambert reflected after hanging up his boots.
“The year before at Southampton I could start to feel a slight difference, my little yard of pace. Then at Liverpool I just felt leggy, I just didn’t have the energy and the attitude that I was in.”
And with Coutinho having failed to hit the heights since leaving Liverpool, a reunion might not be the wisest idea.