With Philippe Coutinho is on his way out of the club, Realspotrt’s journalist James Nalton offers six solutions to the problem that Jurgen Klopp now faces.

Thomas Lemar – Monaco

Liverpool need someone already playing at a high level and with the potential to get better. Lemar is that player. Though he’s left-footed, he’s played much of his football in the same playmaking spot on the left which the right-footed Coutinho dwells in for Liverpool. Whether this be in a 4-2-2-2 or a 4-2-3-1, he’s played in similar areas of the pitch to the man who he could potentially replace.

Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City

Mahrez has returned to the form he showed during the 2015/16 season. Though he’s played much of his football for Leicester cutting on from the right, the opposite to Coutinho’s jaunts inside from the left, Mahrez would also be ideal for the 4-4-2/4-2-2-2 which Klopp has trialled this season. He could also play the attacking midfield position which has been occupied at various times by Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Creativity, shooting from distance, free kicks, and unpredictable dribbling all sound like traits belonging to Coutinho, but Mahrez has them too.

Jonathan Viera – Las Palmas

Attacking midfielder Jonathan Viera could be the most like for like option. Having settled back home in the Canary Islands, the 28-year-old Spaniard is producing some of the best football of his career and now has a few good seasons under his belt. If Liverpool do struggle to get deals done with other players in this winter transfer window, he may be worth a look. Unlike Lemar, Viera won’t be cup-tied for the Champions League and so could come in as an alternative playmaking option from the bench.

Gustavo Scarpa – Fluminense

If Viera is the wildcard in this list, then Scarpa is the joker. The guitar-playing, defence-splitting, creative attacking midfielder has led the assist charts in the Brazilian leagues for the past two seasons. The fact the Brazilian season has just finished means he’s available and his Italian passport means there will be no work permit issues. Another left-footer, Scarpa has played on either flank as well as in the central attacking midfield slot. In addition to his creativity, he can offer great delivery from free kicks and would press in a similar manner to Coutinho.

Matheus Pereira – G.D. Chaves

He’d be worth Liverpool taking a look at as a longer-term project.  The winger likes to dribble but also has decent creative skills at the end of these forward runs, and has shown a good awareness and vision in the final third. Monaco have looked at him in the past and may well do again in the future now he’s impressing during this current loan spell. Though, some work is needed on the defensive side of his game.

Paulo Dybala – Juventus

Spend all the money on Dybala, drop Firmino into an attacking midfield role with Mane and Salah either side.

Who do you think would be the best option to replace Coutinho? ?



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