Manchester United need a Coutinho at Old Trafford

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Liverpool are set to receive a major boost this weekend with the return of Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian playmaker made a fine start to his Reds career after arriving from Inter Milan last January, and he's only improved this term after a full pre-season under manager Brendan Rodgers.

Coutinho fits beautifully into the style-of-play that Liverpool currently like to operate, and whilst they've done well without him, there is little doubt that he'll be back in the side at Anfield when returning to full fitness.

His rise to prominence on Merseyside has also served to show Manchester United what they are missing - a creative player who creates opportunities with ease.

Daniel Sturridge's fine run of form at the start of the season was in no small part down to his 21-year-old teammate, whose ability to create chances will also benefit Luis Suarez now he's back in the Liverpool team.

In many ways, Coutinho has now shown himself to be exactly the man Manchester United need this season.

David Moyes missed out on a number of transfer targets in the summer, with Marouane Fellaini the only significant addition to the Red Devils squad.

He's certainly not a 'number 10' in the way Coutinho is, and whilst Wayne Rooney likes to play in that role behind the striker, moving him back takes away his ability to score goals on a regular basis.

If the Englishman was playing up-front alongside Robin Van Persie, with Coutinho working in behind them, one can only imagine how many goals they would have to their name this season for Manchester United. More than the 'SAS' partnership? Perhaps.

In reality, Coutinho will not be allowed to leave Liverpool for a Premier League rival. Rodgers is clearly a fan of the player, and with the Reds looking to challenge for the title this season, they need to keep hold of him.

The idea of selling to Manchester United would also make the fans' blood boil, although on the flip side it would be a significant coup for the current champions - and a chance to get one over on their rivals.

It makes more sense for Moyes to look elsewhere, but at a similar type of play. Perhaps not an older, experienced attacking midfielder, but a young player with potential who could be a star for years to come.

Julian Draxler is a name often mentioned alongside United, whilst Mario Gotze and Isco made big-money moves in the summer.

Koke and Marco Reus might well do the same in the coming years, and if Manchester United are serious about retaining their place among England's, as well as Europe's elite, then they should consider adding such a player.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Philippe Coutinho

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