Philippe Coutinho remains a “really good player” but Liverpool no longer need him and should not be considering another big-money deal with Barcelona, says John Aldridge.
It has been suggested that the Reds may be tempted to look into bringing a familiar face back to Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp sanctioned the sale of the Brazil international during the winter transfer window of 2018, with Coutinho getting a dream move to Camp Nou.
The 27-year-old South American struggled to make his mark with the Liga heavyweights and is currently taking in a loan spell at Bayern Munich.
With it looking likely that they will pass up the chance to put a permanent transfer in place, a return to England has been mooted.
Aldridge can appreciate why such speculation has surfaced, but says Premier League leaders Liverpool have headed in a different direction since parting with the talented playmaker.
The former Reds striker told the Liverpool Echo: “I see the topic of whether Liverpool should try and bring Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield has reared its head again.
“For me, he was and still is a really good player and, with the squad we’ve got now I’m sure he’d do very well but I lean more towards the ‘never go back’ argument.
“It can work sometimes but he’s on a lot more money at Barcelona which could be a potential problem and of course there would be the question of how much cash Barca would want from Liverpool for him.
“I would imagine the squad would welcome him back as he’s a really good fella and I couldn’t see that being a problem but I just don’t see it as something I would go for if it was me calling the shots.
“Ultimately Coutinho chose to leave, we got top dollar for him and it’s worked in our favour.
“We went out and brought in Van Dijk and Alisson for pretty much the same money and you have to say we haven’t looked back since – European champions, world champions and a 22-point lead at the top of the league as we look to end this 30-year weight for a league title.
“I wish the lad well but at the end of the day what’s happened to him shows that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
“It used to be said years ago if you left Liverpool there was only one way to go and that’s down, and it’s a sign of the times that some players are now discovering that again.
“Another in the same boat is Emre Can. To be honest I always felt he was punching above his weight at Liverpool but he thought he could do better by moving on and it hasn’t worked out for him at Juventus.
“He scored a fine goal on his debut for Borussia Dortmund at the weekend but the fact he’s had to go back to Germany to try and salvage his career says a lot and is a warning to others that you walk away from Liverpool at your peril.”