Why Jurgen Klopp Must Avoid Signing Manuel Lanzini As An Alternative To Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool are reportedly interested in a move for West Ham United playmaker Manuel Lanzini, in a bid to replace the outbound Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian star has been subjected to a lot of attention from Barcelona and he could leave either in January or over the summer.
If that happens, the Reds will face a dearth of creativity and that could pose problems for them as days go by. They have the force and the power of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah on the wings but to lose a presence like Coutinho will prove to be a setback.
With the winter window in full swing, Jurgen Klopp is understood to be searching for replacements and has identified Lanzini as a possible target. But is that the right direction for the German manager to proceed in?
He is 24 years of age and could prove to be a long-term investment but Liverpool are in need of immediate results. On that front, Lanzini’s displays have not been all that encouraging. He has struggled massively for a good majority of the season so far and has failed to make an impact for the Hammers.
Considering the kind of influence Coutinho exerts for the Merseyside club, making a move for £13.5m rated Lanzini does not really make sense. There’s very little evidence to suggest that he would do better at Anfield and in such a precarious situation, Klopp might be better off targeting somebody else.
Having scored one goal all season so far in 14 Premier League appearances, Lanzini does not seem like the player whose skills are strong enough to match Coutinho’s. That said, Klopp could develop him and mould him into the type of player he wants him to be but as of now, Lanzini cannot be what the team needs.
Also, if Coutinho were to stay back, there would be no sense in making the move in the first place. Limited game time will only make things worse for Lanzini and he has a long way to go before he can consider taking on such a crucial role in a club fighting for a Champions League spot.
That said, perhaps if Klopp signs him now and Coutinho were to leave over the summer, then maybe it could be a good move. However, it is one that will take time and effort to yield positive results and it remains to be seen if Liverpool can afford that time to spend on a player.