Forget Coutinho: 17-goal prodigy offers Liverpool a better and long-term alternative – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…

Liverpool have had a much quieter summer than they had last year so far.

They are yet to make a single first-team signing, bringing just one new face through the door in 17-year-old centre-back Sepp van der Berg.

However, they have been linked with a number of exciting names. Lille forward Nicolas Pepe has been touted as a potential signing, a man who scored 22 goals last season.

Former Red Philippe Coutinho has also been linked with a return to Anfield, along with another No.10 in the shape of Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid Kai Havertz.

Obviously, signing both wouldn’t be sensible nor would it be good for the Champions League winners’ bank balance, but that shouldn’t even be considered as an option – Havertz is a far better choice for the Merseysiders.

Firstly, the main point is that the Germany international is a whole seven years younger than Coutinho, meaning that his already decorated palette of skills have the potential to get even better, whereas you would expect the Brazilian to be the finished article as it stands.

Even if you were to forget their respective ages, Havertz enjoyed a phenomenal 2018/19 campaign and bettered the Barcelona No.7 in almost every department – Coutinho’s extra 0.1 of a dribble per game is all that puts him ahead of the 20-year-old.

The 6 foot 2 attacking midfielder netted 17 Bundesliga goals last season, compared to Coutinho’s measly tally of five.

Additionally, Havertz averages more shots per game than the former Inter Milan man, but also makes more key passes per game which suggests that he isn’t just a goal threat and can effectively lay on chances for his teammates too.

Liverpool were linked with a two-year loan move with an option to buy Coutinho for £88m, but by the time that loan ended, their former No.10 would be about to enter his thirties – who knows what his form will be like then.

In stark contrast, Havertz will be about to enter his prime years – this is categorically a no-brainer for Liverpool, and would be a far better long-term option than re-signing their former Brazilian star.

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