Coutinho is not eligible to play in the Champions League
Liverpool’s Coutinho Replacement and the Champions League Rules
Coutinho is not allowed to play in the Champions League, but the problem is that neither are the few players who could properly fill his shoes. Philippe Coutinho’s exit has resulted in Liverpool facing a sizable dilemma, and has left Barcelona with a problem too.
His Appearance for Liverpool Means He’s Not Eligible
The Brazilian star cannot play for his new club in the Champions League, thanks to the fact that he already featured in it for Liverpool over the course of this season. This detail, in fact, is what made the timing of his transfer so surprising. But while some might be secretly gleeful because of Coutinho’s eligibility, or lack thereof, this presents a problem for Liverpool too.
Should they go on to replace their playmaker now, which is by no means guaranteed, then it is more than likely that the team will remain remarkably weakened in the KO stages of the top competition in Europe.
Naby Keita, who Liverpool will be seeking to bring in in January, would not be able to take part in a game against Porto, or beyond, thanks to RB Leipzig’s ties to the Champions League. The same goes for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, although a deal for him will be pursued in the summertime anyway.
UEFA’s Rules for the 2017/2018 Season
The rules UEFA has in place read, in part, that a club is allowed to register a limit of three new eligible players for the knockout stages of the contest.
Virgil van Dijk’s inclusion is a given, while Liverpool await an update on the long-term fitness of Nathaniel Clyne before they make a decision about whether to include him or not. If Clyne gets included, only one other player can join the team.
There are other specifications in the rules, too lengthy to go into properly here, that state that no player who has previously been on the field in the group stages of the Champions League would be allowed to feature.
Who Does That Leave?
Players enjoying the slots NZ has to offer are likely to take a break at this point, and ruminate on which players may be in line to take Coutinho’s place!
Liverpool is keen on Leon Goretzka, even with it looking likely that Bayern Munich will sign him. If they want to snatch him up six months early, he could take to the Champions League field. Staying with the Bundesliga, Leverkusen’s youthful sensation, Kai Havertz, along with Julius Brandt, would be able to play, and it is well known that Klopp admires them both very much.
At the end of the day Alexis Sánchez is probably the most attractive player in the Europa League, and Arsenal is willing to sell to Manchester City, another Champions League club.
The jump across competitions was managed by Leon Bailey, winger, who was the focus for Genk in the Europa League’s last season before he signed for Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen in January, and played in the Last 16 defeat the team endured against Madrid.