Premier League alternatives to Phillippe Coutinho

As the end of the European summer transfer window draws ever closer, the race is on for Barcelona to get the deal for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho over the line. At the time of writing, the English club’s stance remains unchanged with the Anfield board suggesting no sale will be forthcoming but Barca’s big bucks may yet have the final say.

However, the La Liga side may yet have to accept that they won’t get their man, in which case they could be seeking an identic player from the English Premier League. An attacking midfielder with a good goalscoring record is required and any of these names would fit the bill.

Dele Alli: Tottenham Hotspur

"Camp Dele Alli" (CC BY 2.0) by domfell

No midfielder could match Alli’s record of 18 Premier League goals last season – a tally that put the England International sixth overall in the race for the Golden Boot. The link with Barcelona has already been made and after the player netted on the opening day of the season against Newcastle, it may yet resurface this summer.

However, Spurs would resist as much as Liverpool have with Coutinho and, as Alli is just 21, there is plenty of time for Barca to come back to this in the future.

Raheem Sterling: Manchester City

Still only 22, England winger Sterling has matured since making his move to the Etihad and his development is surely being assessed by some of the bigger sides around Europe.

The former Liverpool player scored 10 goals across all competitions in 2016/17 and that’s a reasonable record that saw experts on the Oddschecker website predicting an opening day goal against Brighton. That didn’t materialise but an improving goal tally and temperament put the winger in the frame for a big move.

Eden Hazard: Chelsea

"Eden Hazard / Эден Азар" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Aleksandr Osipov

Had Eden Hazard not suffered an injury while on international duty with Belgium earlier in the summer, calls for Barca to make a bid would have intensified beyond the isolated rumours that we have seen.

With 16 league goals last season, the  26-year-old fits the Coutinho mould and was only two strikes behind the leading midfielder in England, Dele Alli.

Christian Eriksen: Tottenham Hotspur

"Christian Eriksen - Tottenham Hotspurs f" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by ¤ Chris ¤

If any bid for Alli were to fail, Barcelona could switch their attention to his club team mate. Eriksen is already on record stating that a club such as Barca would be hard to turn down and he is another player who is expected to move on if Spurs fail to finish in the top four this season.

An early bid could, therefore, see the Dane at the Nou Camp and although he isn’t as prolific as some of the names on this list, Eriksen is the better option from set pieces.

Roberto Firmino: Liverpool

A club and international team mate of Coutinho, Roberto Firmino seems to be relishing a more advanced role in the Reds’ side and is another option. Barcelona aren’t really looking for another striker but clearly this is an adaptable player who could slot into the set up at Camp Nou.

The Coutinho deal seems far from dead but with money yet to burn following the sale of Neymar, there are plenty of alternatives to Barca’s number one target.