As Barcelona have completed the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, it’s worth asking the question whether or not it’s necessary for Barcelona to add the Brazilian to their team midway through the season with Ousmane Dembele now fit again.
Coutinho’s quality on the pitch is not in any doubt, however his arrival hands Ernesto Valverde a further selection headache.
One might be forced to think that Liverpool were more reluctant to sell now midway through a season than they were last summer, as they have more room now to cushion the blow of their best star leaving.
One questionable thing is why does Barcelona have to pay a ransom for a player who can’t play in the Champions League and will only contribute in LaLiga, a competition where the Blaugrana are already on track to win? He can play in the Copa del Rey; however that tournament is a background aim.
Wouldn’t ithave been more logical to pay this fee, or even more, in the summer for Coutinho? What was the rush now? This move is more befitting of a club living through an emergency rather than a team that has been solid and unbeaten in LaLiga.
It’s a luxury signing at best, but perhaps a great addition for Barcelona’s future. Nobody doubts that however the timing and the price may make one think that Liverpool have been given a gift, not Barcelona.
The arrival of a global star should also never be seen as a problem, be that in January, July or August. The fact that Coutinho can’t play in the Champions League is undoubtedly bad news, but one must keep in mind that the season is very long.
There are many matches in LaLiga and the Copa del Rey where he can delight fans and hand teammates valuable opportunities to rest.
We are speaking, of course, about Andres Iniesta. The midfielder is beginning to show his best performances once again, however he often needs to rest. To succeed in the Champions League, you must enjoy a less hectic schedule in the league and cup.
Even if you are on track in LaLiga, his arrival won’t cause a problem, he can play in multiple positions and Barcelona will take pressure off him to help him settle. Furthermore, Coutinho also serves to strengthen the depth of the squad, a real issue in recent seasons.
About the issue of cost, it’s true that the price hasn’t dropped since the summer, but it could also be true that at the end of the season his price could be even higher.
Especially when one takes into account that it’s a World Cup year, where players of his stature find their values changed. It’s true that this was a large expenditure but the competition for his signature would have been greater in a few months, as the great coaches often say, ‘it’s a good problem to have too many talented players in my team.’