Liverpool star not ready for Real Madrid, despite Ronaldo’s wish
There are plenty of players within Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool catching the eye at the moment, with the Reds our joint-second favourites for the Premier League title at 9/2.
Whether it’s Adam Lallana’s dynamism from central midfield, Roberto Firmino’s production as a false nine or Sadio Mane’s pace down the wing, the German tactician has an abundance of attacking options.
However, one offensive weapon is perhaps generating more headlines than any of that trio, after a Brazilian legend declared his wish to see compatriot Philippe Coutinho turn out for Real Madrid.
Former striker Ronaldo, who scored 83 La Liga goals in 127 appearances for Los Blancos between 2002 and 2007, has told Spanish radio station Onda Cero that he believes the 24-year-old can make the switch to Madrid.
Whether such a move is written out in Coutinho’s future remains to be seen, but for now it’s clear the 21-cap Canarinho international is not ready.
Although it cannot be argued that the former Inter Milan forward has impressed since signing on at Anfield, he has yet to have the dominant campaign that his talent always suggests is around the corner.
Last season’s tally of eight Premier League goals is his best domestic haul for the Reds.
For a man that has been inside the top 10 for shots taken in each of the last three seasons, and lies second in the current campaign, those minimal returns must improve.
Happily, both of Coutinho’s per-90-minute averages for goals and key passes are on course to be the best of his career this season.
However, he’ll need to continue improving in both of these areas if he’s to first earn a move to the Bernabeu, then dispose of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and co for regular minutes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing