Carragher insists Liverpool made a mistake selling Coutinho in January
"Liverpool are well placed to finish runners-up to Manchester City. They have a kind Champions League draw. The Liverpool team of January 2018 is superior to that of January 2005, which won the competition. They have lost just four of their last 44 games, continuously improving. Why endanger momentum?
"Regardless of how much Coutinho agitated, Liverpool could have stood firm. While some players such as Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk lost form after being denied their summer move, Coutinho was the opposite. He has never played better for Liverpool than between September and December this season. I am sure the Brazilian would have recovered from his disappointment for four more months.
"It was more risky to keep him in August than now. No-one knew how he would react on his return to the side. He demonstrated it was in his nature to always give 100 per cent, so why expect different in February? When the move was denied last summer the player and his agent must have expected he would be retained for the year. What changed?
"I agree the £142 million fee is astronomical. The transfer market is crazy, but for Coutinho to become the second most expensive player in world football is extraordinary. He has become an outstanding player, but he is not the best in the Premier League like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Luis Suarez when they made their moves to La Liga. He is behind Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. But I still fear a mid-season deal unnecessarily jeopardises Liverpool's Champions League place for next season. If they do not finish in the top four everyone will point at Coutinho’s sale."