Phil Thompson Says Liverpool Need Player Like Philippe Coutinho, Another Striker

Phil Thompson Says Liverpool Need Player Like Philippe Coutinho, Another Striker

Former Liverpool defender and coach Phil Thompson said he thinks the Reds need to bring in a player like Philippe Coutinho to give the side more creativity.

Liverpool sold Coutinho to Barcelona in January 2018 for an initial fee of £105 million.

Thompson told Sky Sports (h/t Goal’s James Westwood): “I don’t think the Philippe Coutinho one would ever come off again, to get him back, but it’s that sort of player that we actually need to unlock packed defences.”

“I still think we need another striker and maybe a little bit more back-up for Andy Robertson,” he added. “We’re not too bad at centre-back, and I would like to think we are well-blessed in midfield.”

The Reds have won 27 of their 29 Premier League games this season, leaving them on the verge of their first league title since 1990, so there’s not too much room for improvement at Anfield. However, they perhaps could do with more creativity in the side.

Since Coutinho left, the Reds get the majority of their creativity from full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, as well as centre-forward Roberto Firmino.

As their results this season attest, that typically serves them well, but in all competitions, 20 of their wins have been by a one-goal margin. Per, their most creative midfielder is Jordan Henderson, who has five Premier League assists this season and averages one key pass per game.

Goal’s Jack Sear suggested Liverpool could use more creativity after their 1-0 UEFA Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid in February:

Jack Sear@JackSear

Liverpool find ways to win pretty much every week. They have proved time and time again in the last couple of years that they can break down teams that sit deep. But if there’s one thing Klopp will want to work on, it’s improving that European away record.

So too did Reds legend Jamie Carragher:


🗣 Jamie Carragher: “Liverpool didn’t get too frustrated but they couldn’t create anything.

“They don’t have real creativity, certainly in midfield. That’s always been a problem.”

Should Liverpool be worried? 🤔

As for Thompson’s suggestion that Liverpool could do with another striker, only Manchester City have scored more than their 66 goals in the Premier League.

Between them, Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are a potent attacking trident. That said, while Firmino brings much more to the team than just goals—he has 12 assists in all competitions—he isn’t particularly prolific outside of the 27 goals he notched in the 2017-18 season.

The Brazilian has 11 goals in all competitions this season, averaging one every 304 minutes he’s been on the pitch, and only one of them has come at Anfield.

Liverpool’s only alternative is Divock Origi, but football writer Graham Ruthven suggested the club could do better:

Graham Ruthven@grahamruthven

I know Liverpool fans might not like hearing this given his cult status, but Jurgen Klopp needs a better back-up striker than Divock Origi.

The 24-year-old scored some vital goals for the Reds last season, including a goal in the Champions League final and a brace in the second leg of the competition’s semi-final.

This season, he has five goals and four assists in 36 appearances. Only 12 of those games have been starts, but the Reds would likely have little trouble attracting a more impactful squad player to serve as Firmino’s cover.

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