Reds sold Coutinho too soon says Purslow


Former Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow has slammed FSG for their transfer dealings this month.

Purslow was speaking on Sky Sports show The Debate, and he took the opportunity with both hands to criticise the way that things are developing under the Americans at Anfield.

“It’s quite exceptional to see a top team in contention in two important trophies (the Champions League and the FA Cup), and obviously the day-to-day business of making sure you’re in the top four,” he said.

“They’re all very, very live season challenges Liverpool face.

“To effectively put money in the bank and take a player away – any football expert would say the likelihood of winning the Champions League without him has reduced, the likelihood of coming fourth is reduced, and they have already gone out of the FA Cup – is in pure footballing terms, a gamble.

“Strategy and business is a very artificial separation because this sport centres around what happens on the field.

“There’s no use to Liverpool strategically to consistently not win trophies and, God forbid, not get top four.

“I would have thought the businessmen in the ownership group would not needed to have taken that gamble.

“I would have expected – if they needed to give the player certainty, that he was going to fulfil his dream and go to Barcelona – then the deal could have been done with either money now with a loan back, or a contract deferred delivery of player and money in May.

“Neither of which, by the way, would have actually been the best way to maximise the value of the player because come the Summer.

“This player is a starter for Brazil, playing brilliantly.

“If Paris St-Germain, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all in for Coutinho on the back of a World Cup, this player may have been £200million.

“The winners were Barcelona, the losers were Liverpool – other than their bank balance. Fans don’t care about bank balances, they care about winning.

“We saw Xabi Alonso go to Real Madrid, we saw Javier Mascherano go to Barcelona – they do go eventually. What we’re debating is whether Coutinho was always going to end up at Barcelona, we’re debating why they would take that money and risk in January.

“The Klopp project is two and a half years underway here and probably the next step in Jurgen’s success would be a trophy. Liverpool have the makings of a really dangerous team in the Champions League.

“Home second leg in the knockout stages? Nobody wants to go there even defending a one or two goal lead. Reach the last eight of the Champions League, anything can happen.

“But one thing is for certain: it’s less likely without Coutinho. I would have thought Fenway would have prioritised winning that.

“Why did he just pull the ripcord? We are forgetting a very important point and the chronology made people see it the wrong way, but the Van Dijk acquisition for a spectacularly high price, a world record price for a defender, balanced it.

“As far as a fan is concerned, there’s £70million in the bank and we’re short a match-winner – what the Americans call a ‘difference-maker’ – and he made a difference in tight games.” he finished.

It is a stinging critique of the situation – but one that neither Klopp or FSG will pay much attention to.


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