Liverpool fans would welcome Philippe Coutinho back to the club with open arms, says Emile Heskey, with the Brazilian playmaker still considered to be a “wizard” despite his struggles at Barcelona.
A 2018 transfer to Camp Nou has not played out as hoped for the South American schemer.
Coutinho chased the dream when leaving Merseyside for Catalunya, but a spell with La Liga giants has quickly become a nightmare – with a season-long loan at Bayern Munich failing to wake him from his slumber.
Another switch is now being mooted for the 28-year-old, with the Premier League considered his most likely destination. Plenty of teams in England are being linked with moves to land a player who starred during a productive five-year stint at Anfield.
Liverpool are yet to show their hand, with many suggesting that the Reds have moved on and have no need to build bridges with a player who forced his way through the exit.
"What he did when he was with the Reds was phenomenal," former Liverpool striker Heskey told Sky Sports. "He's a phenomenal player and everything good Liverpool did at that time went through him
"So I think he would be welcomed back with open arms at Liverpool and the fans would absolutely love to have him back - but are you getting that same player back?
"Generally you don't but ask any Liverpool fan, they would love to have Coutinho back and that wizard playing in the midfield there."
Heskey added: "When you look at Philippe Coutinho, a lot of the good stuff went through him. He was the main player at Liverpool and he felt that way.
"When he went to Barcelona where you have Lionel Messi in the side and then you become a secondary or sometimes third or fourth in line then it can dent your confidence a bit, especially when you've come from a team where the focus is all on you.
"You've got to adapt your game and sometimes players can't adapt that and then going to Bayern, it could possibly be the same. They've got players in there that are established and know what they want to do and he's got to fit into that and sometimes that's hard."