A name that should be familiar to many football fans is El Pais journalist Diego Torres. Torres is a Spanish journalist who famously wrote a highly critical account of Jose Mourinho's stint at Real Madrid. Mourinho disputes the contents of the book and said "the person who wrote that book shouldn’t write books. He should write books for kids using his imagination."
For others it was a revealing insight into the inner workings at the Spanish capital by a well-sourced writer. Recently Torres has reported on several aspects of Neymar's stint in Paris. From his extraordinary influence at the club to his lavish lifestyle, Torres has extensively covered that topic.
In his latest piece, Torres clarified why reportedly Coutinho felt out of favour before his £145million transfer to Barcelona. Allegedly, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp decided a 4-3-3 would suit Liverpool best and told the board he was happy to sign Salah as competition for Coutinho but Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino would not be dropped. Draws against Burnley and Sevilla convinced him of Coutinho's inability to fit into this system. His reaction to a bid from Barcelona is not what one may expect.
(Barcelona would) offer more than 100 million for Coutinho to act as relay for Iniesta, his amazement broke into hilarity. According to an employee of the English club, Klopp was blunt: "Coutinho is a fabulous forward but he will never feel comfortable in 4-3-3 as an inside; and much less if he has to play in the post of Iniesta in the 4-4-2 that Valverde practices in the defensive phase, where the longer runs should be done by the wings. Iniesta is a long distance runner. Coutinho no.
Thus, the Brazilian became "the most expensive substitute in history" and was allowed to leave. In his absence, Salah has flourished and last night secured the PFA Player of the Season award. Meanwhile, Coutinho has at times struggled to connect as part of a front three with Messi and Luis Suárez. In recent weeks, they have begun to forge a relationship.
Liverpool's system is also different to Barcelona's in terms of the amount of possession they enjoy. Klopp's gegenpressing forces his front three to instantly press when they lose the ball. Even in games like the recent Champions League triumph against Manchester City, while Liverpool sat deep for long periods the front three seemed to press high when given the opportunity. The same onus may not be on Coutinho.
As for the El Pais piece, you can read it in full here.