Philippe Coutinho 'Probably Regrets' Leaving Liverpool, Says Chairman Tom Werner

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2019

SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 25: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona looks on during the Spanish Copa del Rey Final match between Barcelona and Valencia at Estadio Benito Villamarin on May 25, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner believes Philippe Coutinho "probably regrets" leaving Anfield in January 2018 to join Barcelona. 

On paper, the Brazilian's £142 million move to the Camp Nou has been largely successful, as he now has two La Liga winners' medals.

In truth, though, Coutinho has struggled at Barca and has yet to make himself an indispensable part of the first team.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have gone from strength to strength, using the money they got for Coutinho to build a title-challenging squad and reaching back-to-back UEFA Champions League finals.

They lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in last year's showpiece, but they are favourites to prevail against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid on Saturday and claim the famous trophy for a sixth time:

For Werner, any player would want to join Liverpool, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:

"As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason why any elite player wouldn't want to be playing for Liverpool. We have such a strong squad with a strong back office and a manager who I think is one of the greatest managers in world football. So I don't think there is going to be any players who if they were invited to play for Liverpool, wouldn't jump at the opportunity.

"I would just point to the story of Philippe Coutinho. I have only good things to say about Philippe. But I think he left Liverpool because he wanted to play for one of the two big Spanish clubs. We tried to convince him that we had the club moving in the right direction and that he could experience big Champions League occasions by staying at Liverpool. I think he probably regrets his decision."

Coutinho, 26, was given a stark illustration of just what he is missing when he returned to Anfield with Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Blaugrana looked to have one foot in the final after winning the opening leg 3-0, but they subsequently lost 4-0 on Merseyside—their second consecutive capitulation in Europe's elite competition:

Even worse for Coutinho, he was poor on the night, displaying many of the flaws that have dogged him during his time at Barca:

Given he is in his peak years as a footballer, there is still plenty of time for Coutinho to live up to his transfer fee and become a star for the Catalan giants.

He has the talent, as he displayed in five excellent years at Anfield.

At present, though, Werner may well be right.

Coutinho has won two league titles at Barca, more than Liverpool have managed since he left. But he no longer looks the player he was at Anfield, and he won't have the chance to play for a Champions League winners' medal on Saturday in Madrid.

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