Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughPhilippe Coutinho is the signing of the transfer window - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Philippe Coutinho is the signing of the transfer window - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Philippe Coutinho is the signing of the transfer window

On Monday, Tottenham Hotspur unveiled the signing of Lewis Holtby. Fans of the north London side were understandably ecstatic about the arrival of the German, with the defeat to Leeds United still ringing in the memory of supporters. While the midfielder grabbed the headlines following his move, looking further up north saw Liverpool going about their business to secure the signing of another young attack minded player.

The Reds have been edging closer to confirming the arrival of Philippe Coutinho from Inter Milan, with the Brazilian destined to depart the San Siro after finding first team opportunities difficult to come by under head coach Andrea Stramaccioni in Italy.

While Southampton had been credited with an interest following the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino earlier this month – the duo having worked together during Coutinho’s loan spell with Espanyol – it was Liverpool who have beaten off competition to snare the 20-year-old.

It’s fair to say the former Vasco da Gama trainee failed to settle in Italy, despite Ronaldinho once claiming he was to shine as the future of Brazilian football, but now has another opportunity to prove himself in one of Europe’s biggest leagues.

It was no secret that Liverpool needed to strengthen their attacking line in January. Following the departures of Andy Carroll and Dirk Kuyt, not to mention missing out on Clint Dempsey to Spurs and losing summer arrival Fabio Borini to injury, options were a necessity if the club wanted to push on.

Luis Suarez, to his credit, led the front-line emphatically, netting 16 times in the Premiership at the time of writing. Yet, if he were to pick up an injury or suspension, the Reds would’ve been up a certain creek without a paddle.

Manager Brendan Rodgers acted swiftly to secure reinforcements and moved to sign Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea early in January, with the young Englishman netting on his debut during Liverpool’s FA Cup third round win over Mansfield on January 6th.

However, investment was still necessary to bolster the attacking options to Rodgers and it’s no shock to see them move for Coutinho. While his best position would be behind the striker, the midfield trio of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Lucas Leiva means he’ll hardly feature in his favoured role.

During the ill-fated days of Rafa Benitez, he was regularly shifted to the wing, but struggled against the resolute Italian defences’. In the Premier League, on the other hand, the quicker, open game will undoubtedly suit him that much better.

If he is indeed to play on the wing in a front three, the Reds will not only benefit from his speed and athleticism, but also the strength in depth available to Rodgers. While Suarez, Sturridge and Borini are the club’s out-and-out frontmen, the likes of Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and a revitalised Stewart Downing will provide genuine competition for a place either side of the striker.

The young Brazilian will offer Rodgers plenty of options breaking forward, while the likelihood of Gerrard playing early through balls, much like when Fernando Torres was at the club, will only aid their quest to re-establish themselves as genuine top four contenders.

The £8.5m paid to take him to Anfield from the San Siro may be somewhat of a gamble, having followed a similar career path as that of Alexandre Pato while taking Liverpool’s January spend over the £20m mark, but if he establishes himself as a threat, be it in the middle or on the wings, it could well be the best £8.5m they’ve spent in recent years, especially if Coutinho fulfils his potential that he showed as a youngster for Vasco.