Tactical Insights

Neymar and Philippe Coutinho WhatsApp messages were ignored and it impacted Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho’s trajectory since his high-profile departure from Liverpool in 2018 has taken quite the unexpected turn.

Once considered one of the Premier League’s most dazzling talents and Liverpool’s key player under Jurgen Klopp, Coutinho’s form had Europe’s top clubs vying for his signature; none more so than Barcelona, who paid a staggering $180 million (£142m) to secure his services.

The Brazilian playmaker himself described the move as a “dream” come true. For Liverpool, it had an enormous impact, as the financial scope of the deal led to a significant reinvestment that ultimately culminated in Premier League and Champions League success.

Yet, it wasn’t just Barcelona that had their eyes on Coutinho. Paris Saint-Germain, fresh off the back of acquiring stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, was keen to add Coutinho to their ranks in an attempt to build a footballing powerhouse.

READ MORE: Philippe Coutinho faces huge pay cut as FSG plan could rekindle Liverpool connection
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It was even reported by Spanish media that Neymar attempted to persuade Coutinho via WhatsApp to join him at PSG rather than return to his old stomping ground at Barcelona. But those WhatsApp pleas were seemingly ignored, as Coutinho proceeded with his transfer to Barcelona and Liverpool was able to negotiate a stunning deal, the impact of which is still being felt today.

While the move benefitted Liverpool in a big way, Coutinho may wish he had listened to Neymar and considered PSG after all. When he arrived at Barcelona, his fortunes would ultimately dwindle.

His initial stint seemed promising, with a return of 10 goals in his first 22 appearances. However, a less impressive haul of 11 goals over 54 games in the subsequent season signalled a downturn that few had anticipated.

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