Philippe Coutinho will be regretting his decision to leave Liverpool for Barcelona, says Emmanuel Petit, but a return to Anfield for the Brazilian is highly unlikely.
Having made it clear that he wanted to chase the dream at Camp Nou, a big-money sale was reluctantly sanctioned by those on Merseyside in the January window of 2018.
Parting with their most creative influence was expected to make life difficult for the Reds, but funds were smartly invested elsewhere and Jurgen Klopp’s side have actually become stronger.
Coutinho, meanwhile, has flopped in Spain and during a loan spell at German giants Bayern Munich, while missing out on the Champions League and Premier League fun at Liverpool.
Petit, who opted to trade Arsenal for Barca during his playing days, can appreciate why the South American playmaker will currently be questioning his career choices.
A return to England is considered to be a good option for Coutinho at this stage, amid talk of interest from Chelsea, but no retracing of his steps back into Klopp’s plans is expected to be made.
Petit told Paddy Power: “If I was Philippe Coutinho, every morning I would wake up and think to myself, ‘Why, why, did I sign in Spain?’
“And do you know why I say this? Because, I can remember the time when I’d wake up, when I was at Barcelona, when I left Arsenal, and I was thinking the same way, ‘Why did I leave? Why did I leave? Why did I leave?’
“To be honest with you I am sure Coutinho has been asking himself the same question for a while now. He left for Bayern Munich, he does sometimes play well but he’s not really a first-team player.”
Petit added: “I’m pretty sure it would work out for him [returning to England]. He fits perfectly with the Premier League.
“He’s got the vision, the technique, the speed, he can strike, he has the creativity.
“We all know what he is capable of. I was a big fan of his when he was at Liverpool. I would be very, very happy to see him back in the Premier League.
“He won’t go back to Liverpool. When I was at Barcelona, they wanted me back at Arsenal, and it was tempting – I was close to returning to Arsenal.
“But at the end of the day, I was thinking ‘Emmanuel, you need to be honest with yourself. If you left a year ago it was for a reason’.
“If Coutinho is honest with himself, since he left Liverpool they have won the Champions League and they’re on the way to winning the Premier League. Liverpool haven’t needed him, so why would he go back to Liverpool?”
Coutinho has recorded nine goals in 32 appearances for Bayern this season, having previously managed 21 across 76 outings for Barca.