Who could have imagined five months ago, after Philippe Coutinho completed his £142 million move to Barcelona, that Liverpool would go on to reach the 2018 Champions League final.
Football fans feared the worst for the Merseyside outfit after the Brazilian successfully forced his move to the Camp Nou. He was their star man, the player who made the team tick, and losing him midway through the season felt like a catastrophic blow.
However, Jurgen Klopp smartly spent half of the Coutinho cash on Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, whose impact at Anfield cannot be understated.
Liverpool’s defence had been a shambles during the first half of the 2017-18 campaign but Van Dijk’s arrival has changed that.
Furthermore, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have become even more influential since Coutinho’s departure.
The term ‘blessing in disguise’ has been used often since Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona.
Even though the South American is undoubtedly a world-class playmaker who has already made an excellent impression at the Camp Nou, Liverpool are doing just fine without him.
Will Coutinho get a medal?
Some Liverpool fans have given Coutinho stick on social media after every stage of the Champions League knockout rounds.
He’s been called the ‘new Michael Owen’ and much worse for his decision to leave Anfield in what could potentially be a Champions League-winning campaign.
However, he could still end up with a Champions League winners’ medal thanks to his contribution during the group stages.
But that decision lies with Klopp and the Liverpool hierarchy.
Liverpool have made their decision
Liverpool will be handed 40 winners’ medals if they defeat Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday night and they have now decided whether or not they will hand one to Coutinho.
According to the Telegraph, they will hand a medal to the Brazil international, despite the fact he left them in January.
That’s a decision which deserves respect. Liverpool could have held a grudge against their former star but they’ve chosen to reward him for his efforts if they beat Zinedine Zidane’s side this weekend.
In fairness to Coutinho, he always gave 100 per cent for Liverpool, right up until his move to Barça.
Denying him a Champions League medal would have been harsh.
Liverpool fans react
However, it’s safe to say that the decision has divided Liverpool fans on social media…
Does Philippe Coutinho deserve a Champions League winners’ medal? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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