The only way Liverpool fans will get over Philippe Coutinho’s departure is if they spend the majority of the £142 million on a replacement during the January transfer window.
The Brazilian’s departure has broken up the ‘Fab Four’ and has weakened their squad as they look for a top-four finish in the Premier League, while they aim to go far in both the Champions League and the FA Cup.
Kopites are now desperate that they replace Coutinho as soon possible with the likes of Thomas Lemar and Riyad Mahrez being linked with a move this month.
However, there’s an alternative option if Liverpool can’t strike a deal for Lemar or Mahrez. A deal has already been agreed to sign Leipzig’s Naby Keita for the summer but reports suggest that Jurgen Klopp is keen to bring that forward to January.
Keita wouldn’t be a ‘like-for-like’ replacement but he would certainly fill the midfield void left behind by Coutinho.
But while Liverpool fans are excited at the future arrival of the Guinean, one man is far from convinced by his ability - Danny Murphy.
The former Liverpool midfielder thinks the club need to strengthen the 'power, presence and creativity' in the middle of the park and doesn’t think Keita is that man.
WHAT MURPHY SAID ABOUT KEITA
“In the middle of midfield there's a gaping hole there,” Murphy said on Sky Sports.
“He's letting Can leave at the end of the season - he doesn't fancy him, obviously, or he wants to leave, whatever.
“There's kids coming in but I'm talking someone with power, presence, creativity. In Liverpool's central midfield, in all the years I've watched them and played there, there's always one you can hang your hat on in terms of being the leader.
“I'm not sure (on Keita), from what I've seen.
“Subconsciously you can look like you've downed tools when you're protecting yourself a little bit, I wouldn't judge him on that. I don't know him well enough to say that. What I would say is he's obviously very athletic, got a lot of qualities - a bit like Jordan Henderson has. Professional, good athlete, does his job really, really well.
“But he isn't creative enough if you want to challenge for the title and the Champions League. Someone like Gerrard, Souness, Alonso, Mascherano - these type of players.”
‘A bit like Jordan Henderson.’
We take it Murphy hasn’t watched too much of Keita.
Well, Murphy’s comments certainly didn’t go down well with Liverpool fans.
LIVERPOOL FANS REACT
After hearing what he said about their incoming player, they reacted angrily on Twitter. Check out their reaction:
Whether or not Liverpool can bring forward their deal for Keita remains to be seen but, last month, Klopp insisted it wasn’t going to happen.
KLOPP ON SIGNING KEITA IN JANUARY
"There is an agreement with the club that he will come in June or July to Liverpool,” Klopp said.
"There is nothing else to say about that. We really don't think about it because of all the things Leipzig have said.
"They said they do not have to sell any player. Why should they do something like that (letting him leave in January)? So no, we don't think about it."
Of course, that was before he sold Coutinho and his circumstances have definitely changed…
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