Philippe Coutinho is a ‘creative genius’, according to Phil Thompson, who would like to see the Barcelona playmaker retrace his steps in the summer transfer window.
Coutinho established himself as one of the finest young players in Europe during his five-year spell at Anfield and became the second- most expensive player in the world when Barca snapped him up for €160 million (£139m/$175m) in January 2018.
The 27-year-old has, however, been unable to transfer his impressive form from the Premier League to LaLiga, despite helping the Blaugrana retain their Spanish crown during his first full season at Camp Nou.
The Brazil international struggled to stand out in a squad brimming with world-class players, and Barca ultimately decided to loan him out to Bayern for the 2019-20 campaign.
Coutinho has contributed nine goals and eight assists from 32 appearances across all competitions, and the German giants have the option to sign him permanently when the transfer market reopens.
However, the mercurial playmaker is also being tipped to return to England, with Chelsea and Arsenal reportedly leading the chase for his signature.
Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in their former talisman, and Thompson says he would sanction such a move ‘in a heartbeat’ if he was in charge.
‘They are probably looking at that creative midfield player. Would you take Coutinho back? I would, in a heartbeat,’ the legendary ex-Reds defender told Sky Sports.
‘I think he’s a creative genius. You look back at his Liverpool career and he was absolutely terrific. He’s not too old and I still think he could come back.
‘It probably won’t happen but it’s that creative player just off the front three that would probably just tip the balance.’
Thompson went on to express his belief that Liverpool could also benefit from adding another left back to their ranks to provide cover for Andrew Robertson, who continues to be stretched to the limit as one of the first names on Jurgen Klopp’s team sheet every week.
‘There’s some players who probably want to be playing more football who will move on this summer,’ he added. ‘Then you think about who could strengthen our core squad. I’d like to see a left back come in.
‘That would help out Andy Robertson if he misses a few games because there’s such a toll on him at the minute.’
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