Barcelona can bring out the very best in Philippe Coutinho, not Liverpool

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Brazil legend Lucio recently suggested Philippe Coutinho could become the world's best player at Liverpool amidst rumours Barcelona are interested in signing him.

The 37-year-old told Sky Sports, as per the Independent: "Liverpool is the right place for him to become the best. He has his space, and can play where he wants.

"I think that is a personal decision for him [Barca move], but Barcelona have a lot of great players, but that can put a shade [sic] on his play."


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Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have undoubtedly emerged a side with big ambitions - but are the Reds genuinely the best long-term option for Coutinho?

With the January transfer window looming, speculation over the 23-year-old's future has been rife. Barcelona are the obvious front-runners for his signature given their transfer ban is soon to be lifted.

Liverpool fans will rightfully be fearful they could soon lose Coutinho, if not in January, then in the summer transfer window, which would come as a major loss.

The attacking midfielder is slowly evolving into a world-class player on Merseyside capable of even better, with the arrival of Klopp seemingly kick-starting his form after such dominant displays against Chelsea and Manchester City.

However, when surrounded by such inconsistency, Coutinho's potential could be hindered.

He would struggle to break his way into the Barcelona team, of course, given their current crop of midfield talent: Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic.

However, this is little doubt Coutinho has the ability to give both Rakitic and Iniesta a run for their money in the heart of Barca's midfield, especially the latter given the Spaniard's age.

If anything, completing a switch to Barcelona sooner rather than later could prove fruitful for Coutinho. He could learn from one of football's greatest ever midfielders in Iniesta and would be given regular game time, such is Barcelona's tendency to rotate.

There is also the question of whether Coutinho would shine when surrounded by the infamous MSN trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

The Brazilian, though, would arguably make the three even better. Coutinho's mesmerising footwork, creativity and shooting would complement Barcelona's forwards and fit in perfectly with the Catalonians' style of play.

Liverpool have provided Coutinho with an excellent platform to announce himself on the big stage, but the Brazilian is fast outgrowing those he plays with and might be better suited to the quality of Barcelona.

Steven Gerrard
Premier League

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