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Liverpool Transfer News: Philippe Coutinho Fears Grow, Divock Origi Loan Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2015

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on August 24, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly keen on bolstering their options in midfield with the signing of Liverpool talisman Philippe Coutinho.

That’s according to Spanish website Fichajes (h/t Joe Rimmer of the Liverpool Echo) who report the interest of the European champions.

If a deal was to go ahead, Coutinho would be the second player to trade Merseyside for Catalonia in the space of two seasons, after Barcelona signed Luis Suarez from Liverpool in the summer of 2014.

Could Coutinho follow Suarez to Barcelona?
Could Coutinho follow Suarez to Barcelona?PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

It’d be a major blow for the Reds if the Blaugrana were to make a move for the playmaker. But it wouldn’t be a surprise after some sparkling performances in the iconic red shirt.

Indeed, the club’s former skipper Steven Gerrard admitted he was concerned the La Liga juggernauts may end up moving for the Brazil international in his new autobiography, per the Daily Mail.

Although Liverpool haven’t enjoyed the best of seasons, Coutinho’s willingness to take responsibility, as is evident by WhoScored.com, has been one of the most encouraging facets:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Philippe Coutinho: Had 10 shots vs Norwich - three more than the entire #NCFC side - but hit the target just twice

But like Suarez, like Raheem Sterling who was sold last summer, as much as the former Internazionale man loves playing at Anfield, he’s a player who will have eyes for the very top. There are few in world football who would spurn the advances of a club such as Barcelona either.

Coutinho has been a bright spark in a disappointing season for the Reds.
Coutinho has been a bright spark in a disappointing season for the Reds.Jon Super/Associated Press

He certainly boasts the talents to fit right in at the Camp Nou too. Not only is the Brazilian a wonderful passer of the ball, but his technical ability, long-range shooting and in-game intelligence set him apart from a lot of other midfield players. As we can see here, courtesy of Squawka Football, he loves to commit defenders, too:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Most successful take-ons in the Premier League in 2015: Eden Hazard (106) Wilfried Zaha (75) Philippe Coutinho (73) Alexis Sánchez (65)

Having signed a new contract earlier this year, Liverpool could command a massive fee for the player’s services. There are few on Merseyside who would want to bid farewell to such an enchanting footballer, but sadly, as the sales of Sterling and Suarez have shown, there is a precedent for letting key players leave the club for the right money.

Divock Origi Loan Deal Discussed

Liverpool's Belgian forward Divock Origi eyes the ball during the group B, UEFA Europa League football match between Bordeaux vs Liverpool on September 17, 2015 at the Matmut Atlantique Stadium in Bordeaux.  AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCAT        (Photo credit
NICOLAS TUCAT/Getty Images

According to Dean Jones of the Daily Mirror, Liverpool may look at loaning Divock Origi out in January if Daniel Sturridge can preserve his fitness.

After signing for the Reds from Lille and then being loaned back last season, the Belgium international has failed to make any impression in the early weeks of the season.

If Sturridge, who returned to the starting XI for the 1-1 draw against Norwich, can keep fit going forward, his chances are likely to be even more at a premium.

The return of Sturridge could push Origi even further down the pecking order.
The return of Sturridge could push Origi even further down the pecking order.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

As noted here by Squawka, even when Origi did get a chance in the Europa League, he failed to take it:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Divock Origi's game by numbers for Liverpool: 3 aerial duels 3 take-ons 1 chance created 0 shots Quiet night. http://t.co/9NuH4Ivn9r

But a loan move would be peculiar given the amount of games Liverpool will have to negotiate.

The Europa League will put plenty of strain on the squad, and you suspect it’s that competition in which Origi will be handed plenty of opportunities. Do well in those games and he could be pushing for a first-team start.

A side like Liverpool challenging for the Champions League spots should have four strikers in the squad anyway. Letting Origi go would chop those choices down, with one of the options being the perennially injured Sturridge.

So while the Reds will be keen to see Origi get some game time, loaning him out mid-season without bringing in a replacement would make little sense.

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