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Danny Murphy: Don't jump ship now, Philippe Coutinho!

Will Philippe Coutinho still be a Liverpool player next season? Put it this way: if Barcelona come in for him, I doubt he would even consider giving it another year at Anfield.

I don’t know Coutinho but I would be surprised if he had grown up a die-hard Liverpool fan. 

He will be thankful for the platform Liverpool have given him but like most players, I imagine he would find it hard to resist the lure of Barcelona.

But players need to be careful about jumping ship from a good club, where they are top dog — as Coutinho is — and earning a fortune. He is only 24, so he has time to stay at Liverpool a little longer and improve. 

I look at the Barcelona team and I wonder where he would fit into it. Is he really going to be first choice in attack when they have Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar? So that might mean he would need to play in midfield to get a regular spot, which is probably not his best role. 

Yet despite all those factors, you still think he would make the move if given the opportunity. It would be a shame but that’s the way it is. 

If Liverpool beat Middlesbrough, as surely they will, they will need three or four more players next season, when they will be involved in the Champions League. 

They need a centre-back, a  left-back and another midfielder. 

Then there is the issue of the centre-forward. They need a man who will produce at least 20 goals per season. 

Daniel Sturridge has the ability to do that but can he stay fit for long enough? Does Jurgen Klopp have enough faith in him?

I have enjoyed watching my old club play this season but there is work to do to move to the next level.

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