There’s something in the game known as ‘doing a Juventus’. What that means is selling a prized asset in order to strengthen the whole side.
They did it last summer, selling Pogba to Manchester United for £100 million and then bringing in Pjanic from Roma to ably replace him, Higuain from Napoli and Dani Alvez from Barca. They reached the Champions League Final right away. They did it back when they sold Zidane to Real Madrid in 2001 too. They brought in no less than Pavel Nedved, Gianluigi Buffon and Lilian Thuram. They also did it when they sold Christian Vieri but I think the point is made.
If you’re not one of the three or so super clubs, then you’re a selling club. Face it, accept it. Move on. Every talented player on your books isn’t a potential theft for some bigger fish. Looking at it the Juventus way, a highly prized player is a gateway to a much, much stronger first team in all areas.
Philippe Coutinho is that player for Liverpool.
Firstly, you need to replace the player you sell. Juve brought in Nedved for Zidane and Pjanic for Pogba. Neither player is as good as who they’re replacing but they’re still top top players and the quality will be more evenly spread through the side. For Liverpool, this player would be Riyad Mahrez. He’s a Premier League Champion. A fantastic, aggressive, gifted attacking player and someone just begging to make the step up to a major club to show what he can do. He’s versatile enough to play in the midfield 3 but also join in with Salah and Mane in attack.
Next. Well, it’s no secret the side’s major weakness is defence. Mignolet just got dropped for a 6 pointer against Arsenal and Karius is hardly going to go winning leagues. How about Mahrez’s teammate Kasper Schmeichel? Let’s face it. Unless DeGea gets hit by a car or finally sold to Real Madrid, he’s never going to follow his dad to Old Trafford. He’s by far the best goalie outside the top 4 sides and, like Mahrez, he’s already won the league once. He knows what it takes.
Finally, with the £134 million Liverpool could be getting for Coutinho, they could finally land a world class defender. The fans can forget about the much vaunted Van Dijk. Instead we’ll suggest the man Napoli fans call ‘the wall. Senegalese centre back Koulibaly is noted all over Serie A for his stunning performances and flexibility, being able to play either full back position if required also.
One player down three high quality players in. This is how Juve have dominated the Italian league for almost a decade. If Liverpool have aspirations to do the same they need to capitalise on their prized asset.