Manchester United could make the same mistake as Liverpool and Philippe Coutinho

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Liverpool have come a long way under Jurgen Klopp, with many factors to consider as to why this huge rise has taken place.
Few things are more important, however, than the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

As is now well documented, the sale of the Brazilian for £ 142million saw Liverpool sign Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.

This pair’s influence on the Champions League and Premier League victories that followed does not need further explanation.

For Liverpool, the team dynamic that developed once Coutinho moved on made them a better unit, with the focus no longer on one player in particular, and the team more capable of playing like Klopp’s. was considering.

Ask 100 Liverpool fans who their favorite player is these days and the answers will vary widely depending on the positions on the pitch – and this is where Manchester United can learn an important lesson.

Portuguese attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes has been a revelation at £ 47million after contributing 15 goals and 11 assists in 24 Premier League appearances so far.

There is a risk, however, that he too falls into the same Coutinho category, as Kristian Walsh explained on the Liverpool.com podcast.

He said: “There’s a trope around Fernandes that he only scores penalties, but he’s a much rounder player.

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“He actually reminds me a bit – albeit in a different age group – of what Coutinho was like at Liverpool [Coutinho was at Liverpool between the ages of 20 and 25, while Fernandes arrived at Old Trafford as a 25-year-old].

“I would be worried about Manchester United when it comes to Fernandes because he’s good enough that you can get too reliant on him, but there are puzzle pieces that don’t work the same if Fernandes is. in the field.

“It becomes a situation where you have to play through Fernandes because he’s so good, but at the same time, are you marginalizing Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial?

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“Liverpool weren’t necessarily in that exact position, but it was a similar atmosphere, and Jurgen Klopp realized that he was as good as Coutinho, and that he was probably the most technically gifted player,” Liverpool worked better without him.

“Liverpool were better without him and United are at this point when they have to play through Fernandes because he’s a fantastic footballer.

“Eventually, they might become too dependent on him when they should have a lot more to offer. ”

For United to make a similar leap at Liverpool, from hopes of reaching the Champions League group stages to true challengers for the Premier League title, there are a few things that need to change.

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The jury is still out on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer more than 18 months after his permanent appointment, while their lack of a sporting director like Michael Edwards has hurt them in the transfer market.

This was evident even in the case of Fernandes, where the deal went on for much longer than necessary before agreeing to pay the price Sporting Lisbon demanded.

But they must also give up their dependence on the Portuguese. With attacking talent in abundance, it’s possible United could make a similar jump at Liverpool.

However, it still remains to be seen whether United have the right manager and the right hierarchy to do it.

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