Philippe Coutinho filled a Lionel Messi role while on the books at Liverpool, with Frank de Boer saying the Brazilian “doesn’t fit the puzzle” now that he has joined an Argentine superstar at Barcelona.
The former Barca star told talkSPORT: “I think Coutinho was a player where everything [went through] him, every ball went to him at Liverpool.
“He could probably do less work, basically what Messi does with Barcelona.
“And the thing is you see how everything works together, it’s like a machine.
“If one is not doing it it’s fine maybe, they can handle that, but if it’s two similar types of players, that they also want every ball and have that special position in the team, then you see how vulnerable a team can be.
“I think we saw that with Barcelona. There’s only one that can do that now and that is Messi.
“The team is adapting and if you have to adapt for two players like this, it’s difficult.
“I think Coutinho is an unbelievable player but sometimes he doesn’t fit the puzzle and maybe with another club it will go perfectly well.
“It doesn’t mean he is a bad player. It doesn’t mean that you are not a great player when you can’t play for Barcelona – no.
“It sometimes doesn’t fit your style of play and sometimes you have bad luck, not bad luck, that Messi’s around and he has that role, and then you have to do a different role that doesn’t suit you a little bit.
“So it’s a shame for Coutinho but I think now he will do okay.”