The Brazilian international has been a subject of interest for many top clubs for the last two seasons and since last summer Barcelona have emerged as the most likely destination for the 25 year old attacking midfielder.
The Reds accepted a blockbuster deal for Coutinho as they have ample of time to find a suitable replacement for him in the winter transfer market. Jurgen Kloop was very adamant last summer as he wasn’t ready to let his star player go without any time to replace him but in the last 6 months they have chalked out a few names who could replace Coutinho at the Anfield.
Gelson Martins is one of them as he has emerged as a possible replacement for the Brazilian. The 22 year old Portuguese winger plays for Sporting Lisbon as a right winger although he has the ability to play as a shadow striker, Martins is also capable to play in the right flank.
Liverpool officials were watching him play last Wednesday and he didn’t disappoint them as he scored the only goal for side against league rivals Benfica which ended in 1-1 draw.
A few Portuguese news outlets have reported that the Reds are ready to put up an offer for the 22 year old after the departure of Coutinho.
Gelson Martins has been profilic for side this season as he has found the back of the net 8 times and laid 6 assists for his teammates in 27 appearances across all competitions.
Altough Gelson Martins looks like a bright prospect in the future but he still has a long way to go and in my opinion he wouldn’t fill the Brazilian shoes at the Anfield and Liverpool should look for a more versatile player who should be able to play from the center rather than wings since they have enough quality in both the flanks.
I have found two suitable option for the Reds:
1) Thomas Lemar :
The 22 year old Frenchmen has been impressive for Monaco for the past two seasons. However he hasn’t been so good for Monaco this season as he scored only twice and has laid 4 assists in 18 appearances, but we all know what he is capable of. Lemar’s primary position is as a left winger and he is most effective there. But he can also play in the the right wing and can play as an attacking midfielder, A very good option the the Reds but he won’t come cheap.
Ligue 1 side AS Monaco have made it clear that they won’t accept a bid under €90 million. Liverpool will also not shell out this much as they have recently acquired Virgil Van Dijk for £75m. But if they want a good suitable replacement then Thomas Lemar is the Man.
2) Nabil Fekir :
Fekir is probably the best replacement available for the Reds in the market as the 24 year old has lit up the French league this season with his dominant attacking displays. Nebil Fekir has been in the form of his life this season as he has found the back of the net 15 times in just 22 appearances in all competitions this season.
Fekir is best effective in the center of the pitch and has a similar playing style like Philippe Coutinho. He can also play on the right wing and can fill in for Firmino as a false nine. Lyon would definitely accept a bid in the region of €45m to €50m.
If Liverpool let go Coutinho this month then the above two options should definitely be considered by the Reds if they are looking for a long term replacement.