Football

Carragher urges Liverpool to use proceeds from Coutinho sale wisely

Liverpool legend warns club against squandering money from Coutinho sale, like they did when Suarez left

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has urged the club to learn from their mistakes from the Luis Suarez sale, following the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for a hefty fee of 160 million euros (S$255.3m).

Coutinho finally landed his dream move to the La Liga club yesterday morning (Singapore time), after three failed bids by Barca in the summer.

The deal makes the 25-year-old Brazilian playmaker the second-most expensive player in football history.

Back in 2014, the Reds reportedly received £75m (S$135m) from Barcelona for Uruguayan Luis Suarez, but did not reinvest the money wisely.

POOR INVESTMENT

According to The Mirror, the club used the proceeds from the Suarez sale to buy Dejan Lovren (£20m), Mario Balotelli (£16m), Alberto Moreno (£12m) and Divock Origi (£10m).

On the transfer of Coutinho, Carragher tweeted: "Disappointed Coutinho has gone, never thought he'd turn into the player he's become when I first played with him."

He added: "But he's been a great Liverpool player these last few years. 142 million though! Just need to use the money better than we did when Suarez left!!"

Carragher was just one of many former Liverpool players to join in the discussion on the departure of Coutinho.

The Rio-born player arrived at Anfield from Inter Milan for £8.5m in January 2013 and scored 54 goals in all competitions for the Reds, although he won no silverware during his five-year stay.

Most see it as a great loss to Liverpool, although another ex-Liverpool player, Ray Houghton, believes that the club will be able to cope.

The former Ireland international feels this is a good chance for the Reds to strengthen their squad to challenge for the EPL title, and highlighted three positions they should reinforce.

Said Houghton on Talksport: "Over the years, Liverpool have had Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez - and it's the same thing.

"'Oh, we'll never replace them'. You can. Of course you can.

"There are different ways and means of doing it. It'll be up to the others to start chipping in with more goals and more assists.

"But Liverpool are looking to build a squad, not only to get into the top four, but to win the league. And to do that, there are other positions they have to strengthen.

"They've done that with Virgil van Dijk, who proved his worth last night (against Everton).

"They need a top-quality goalkeeper, another centre half and probably another central midfield player as well."

Former Reds defender Mark Lawrenson also feels that the loss of Coutinho may not impact the team as badly as feared.

Citing the examples of Suarez and Fernando Torres, who left for Chelsea for £50m in 2011, he told BBC: "(Torres and Suarez) were both very, very good for Liverpool.

"But when you think of it like that, it does soften the blow for it because it is a case of, 'the King is dead, long live the King'.

"The loss of Coutinho is a blow, but I don't think it is insurmountable. It is not like Tottenham losing Harry Kane, is it?"

SELLING CLUB

Former Liverpool centre back Phil Thompson, though, is not sure if the squad can overcome the loss of the Brazil international.

He also pointed out that there are signs the Reds are starting to look like a selling club, with the departure of several high-profile players in recent seasons.

He said on Sky Sports: "We've got a few stars, but he (Coutinho) is so influential.

"As we have seen recently, he has been the captain of the side. That's the trust that the manager has in him.

"You just look at it now with Suarez going, Sterling moving on…

Players seem to get to those position then leave. It will be a big let-down.

"Adam Lallana is coming back to fitness, which helps, so maybe that was a little bit of the reason why they have done it."

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