Jason McAteer tells Frank Lampard to sign Philippe Coutinho for Chelseaby Metro Sport Reporter
Former Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer has urged Chelsea to recruit Philippe Coutinho, as a return to Anfield isn’t the right move for the club or player.
Rumours of the 27-year-old’s return to the Premier League have surfaced due to his inability to settle at parent club Barcelona, since joining from Liverpool in January 2018.
After just 18 months with the Spanish champions, Coutinho was shipped out to Bayern Munich on a season-long loan, where he has started just 12 league games this season.
Ex-Reds player McAteer told the Racing Post: ‘Coutinho served a purpose at Liverpool and was a great player for a period of time – but that time has gone. Selling him was a superb piece of business for the club.
‘He would still grace the top clubs in Europe, as he’s showed at Bayern Munich where he’s done okay – but he needs to be the centre of attention. That wasn’t the case at Liverpool and certainly wasn’t the case at Barcelona.’
McAteer suggested Frank Lampard’s progressive Chelsea side would be a much better fit for the South American playmaker.
He added: ‘I could see Philippe Coutinho slotting in perfectly at Chelsea, where Frank Lampard is doing unbelievable things trying to reboot the club using a lot of young talent bedding in alongside some experienced stars.
‘Coutinho would feel really comfortable in the number ten role at Stamford Bridge with the protection of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho and an array of young frontmen around him who would thrive working off him.’
On Thursday, Chelsea announced the signing of Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech for a reported fee of £36.7million from Dutch side Ajax.
The 26-year-old’s modest price may free up cash to strengthen the squad in different areas. With the rumoured departure of Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi, Pedro and Willian, Lampard may be targeting the forward positions.
However, interest in recruiting Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho has reportedly cooled due to the £100m fee being demanded for the English winger.