Who will Replace Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool?

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Who will Replace Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool?

© Getty Images

© Getty Images

© Getty Images

Andrew Bailey, Reporter

It is official: Philippe Coutinho has left Liverpool. The 25 year old Brazilian midfield maestro moved to Barcelona for $160M, making him the second most expensive player ever. Now, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has a tough decision to make: when should he spend his new money, and who should he spend it on? Here are a couple options that the Reds may use to try to return to the domestic and European glory of years past:

Julian Draxler

Currently, Draxler serves as left wing and attacking midfield cover at Paris Saint-Germain. But the 23-year-old absolutely has the talent to start at the Premier League level, as shown by his golden ball performance at the 2017 Confederations Cup. Known for his dribbling and a strong shot, the German youngster could fit seamlessly into Klopp’s high-pressing, fast attacking style of play that benefits goalscoring wingers and CAMs. The fee, supposedly around 50 million euros, should be attainable as well.

Manuel Lanzini

Another versatile attacking mid, Lanzini has seen playing time as a false nine, left wing, right wing, and as a more traditional center mid as well. Lanzini burst onto the scene last year after scoring eight goals and adding 10 assists and showing off some of the best skills and acceleration with the ball at his feet in the Premier League. The Argentine fits the perfect Liverpool mold and could bring some South American flair back to the Kop. He would potentially cost around $22 million, but if West Ham gets relegated his price could drop towards $15 million.

Thomas Lemar

Linked with a switch to the Premier League almost every single day since the summer, 22-year-old Thomas Lemar has the skills to pay the bills in Merseyside. The young Frenchman is quick, explosive, and creative, proven by his 14 goals and 17 assists in all competitions last season. He has been linked with both Liverpool and PL rivals Arsenal over the past 12 months, and will almost certainly make a $60 million switch to England this summer.

Marco Reus

Before moving to Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp was the manager at Borussia Dortmund, and Marco Reus was his favorite player. But injuries have derailed his career, and now his fight back to fitness has put his World Cup place in jeopardy. But in his last full season, he scored 23 times and tacked on 18 assists. If anyone could nurse the 28-year-old back to health and his best form, it is Klopp. A fee of $40 million is what it will take, but it will be worth it if he gets back to greatness.

Julian Brandt

A bit of a wild card here, Julian Brandt is not a recognized name to casual fans. But if you spend a little bit of time watching his game at Bayer Leverkusen, where he mostly functions as a left or right winger, you will see a player very similar to both Reus and Draxler, combining explosive pace with great ball skill and a thunderous shot cutting inside to his right foot. He is young at just 21 years old, and with a $40 million price tag expect him to make a jump to a big club in the next 18 months. Liverpool could be that club.