Music's Over, Find A Chair

Giuseppe Bellini

The transfer window closes

Well, what we were promised would be a crazy January only ended up being a slightly active one. Which is fine, I think we're all still getting over January 2011 and don't feel the need to ever do that again.

At the close of the window came in Phillipe Coutinho. I won't pretend I've seen a lot of the Brazilian (or my share of Brazilians in my time. HEEYOOOO!!!!), as Espanyol and Inter didn't find their way on to my TV all that much the past two seasons.

What you read is tantalizing. A true flair player with two feet who can play anywhere along the front line. Liverpool haven't really had one of those since Luis Garcia, and Coutinho promises more, if only simply because he's only 20. Since Garcia took his sangria back to Spain, Gerrard has filled that role of #10 but in his way, which certainly isn't in a flair style. And obviously, when you think of the skill and flexibility of Coutinho, you begin to dream what of what might be created when he combines with other flexible and mobile attackers such as Suarez, Sterling, Sturridge, and if Borini ever pans out into anything.

But there are always worries. His age is one. Flair players find the adjustment to England a rough one is another, as they don't get the time they want or the consistent protection from refs they crave. Obviously, no Brazilian is going to care much for the weather, which always seems to make a bigger difference than you think it would. At least he'll have Lucas to help him settle in.

Overall, I'm excited to see what the kid can do, though a little worried what it means for Suso. As you probably know, I might be Suso's biggest fan, and Coutinho appears to be the exact same type of player, while being just about the same age. Suso is already behind Sturridge, Sterling, and Suarez going forward (I don't see Downing being part of the plans past this season) and now we'll have Coutinho, and Borini to compete with. Even in his preferred central, attacking midfield spot, Coutinho will compete with him there too. And you wonder how many creatives you can have on the field at once if you ever tried to have Suso, Coutinho, Suarez and Sturrdige on at the same time.

Maybe Coutinho will be more than Suso will ever be, and we won't notice. Maybe Suso just won't quite cut it. But I for one would hate to see this meaning his exit from the club is coming soon.

So with the transfer window closed, Liverpool got stronger in attack, and slightly less weaker (in terms of numbers) in midfield. There still isn't really a deputy for left-back, especially now that Jack Robinson is probably being put in a dumpster behind Melwood. But there are options in attack now, which hasn't been the case. The midfield can get thin, because Gerrard can't play every game, Henderson could get tired, and only Allen and Lucas can play the holder and not at the same time. Sahin at least would have made up a number.

Coates didn't go out on loan, which means he'll have to get some games in Europe or this is a completely wasted season. But all in all, not too bad for what the club needed.

-I really hope this domestic abuse charge of Raheem Sterling proves to be not true. This is an issue that all sports doesn't take nearly seriously enough. Performance enhancing drugs can get you suspended for a long time, but not beating a woman. It's insanity and just callousness for what is an abhorrent crime.

If it does prove to be true, shouldn't Sterling be suspended as long as Suarez was, if not much longer? It's what I would hope to see, but I won't hold my breath. The day all sports starts taking violence against women as seriously as it should is probably far enough off that I don't have to worry about living to see it.

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