It’s 2018, and Philippe Coutinho is no longer a Liverpool player. The Brazilian has swapped the dim settings of Merseyside for the glamorous scenery of Catalonia.
In his absence, Jürgen Klopp will have to find a replacement and not just any replacement, a replacement that can replicate the skillset AND star power of Philippe Coutinho.
In world football today, there aren’t many names doing the rounds like Nabil Fekir. The Olympique Lyon attacker has been rumoured with a move to the English Premier League for several windows, with every top team in the division being linked to him.
Now the latest rumours feel this could be the perfect time for Liverpool to make a move for him. Many have linked the likes of Thomas Lemar and Riyad Mahrez with the Reds but here’s why Nabil Fekir is a better fit than both.
Here’s why Liverpool should sign Nabil Fekir as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho.
At the tender age of 24, Nabil Fekir has only been a first team regular for Lyon for three seasons now, making 136 appearances in the process. In that time, he’s scored 50 goals and provided 32 assists.
That means he’s directly contributed to a goal every 1.65 games, that’s a better rate than Philippe Coutinho’s 2.01 rate at Liverpool.
This season alone, the Frenchman has scored 13 goals and provided 4 assists in 16 league appearances. That’s more than a goal a game, he’s finally translating his potential quality into world-class productivity.
It’s not just that the Frenchman is scoring, he’s also providing for others while doing so, this season, he’s created an impressive 30 chances.
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool side are the epitome of free-flowing football. Their attackers operate in a fluid way that often leaves opposition teams in awe. It’s that fluidity that gives Klopp’s forwards the freedom to express themselves, a freedom that Nabil Fekir would excel in.
The 24-year-old is naturally an attacking midfielder, but in his time at Lyon, he’s learnt how to be effective in all positions across the forward line. His flair, silky touches and intelligent off the ball movement would perfectly compliment the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino.
Nabil Fekir’s versatility means Jürgen Klopp can choose to deploy him in the #10 role Philippe Coutinho used to occupy or as a wide forward. Such is his ability that he can be creative from all positions in attack.
In defence, Fekir’s off the ball enthusiasm means he’d fit right in with Klopp’s gegenpressing system. However, he does tend to not stick to passing lanes, especially when a counter attack is on the brink of occurring.
We’re in a time where transfer prices have hit an all-time high; you only have to look at Liverpool’s most recent signing to testify to that.
If it took £50m to prize Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon, it’d take almost double to do the same for Nabil Fekir. The 24-year-old currently has 2 and a half years left on his contract, which could play into Liverpool’s favour.