Luis Suarez was still around, at the time, but the ageing Steven Gerrard wasn’t going to be for much longer and the Kop needed another midfield hero to worship.
Reports in Spain on Monday suggested Barca were eyeing a potential move for Coutinho, who has become one of Liverpool’s most prized assets since joining from Inter in January 2013.
Liverpool kept hold of Coutinho this summer, but his return to the Brazil squad has further highlighted his progress and Barcelona have taken note.
“Are there any Brazilians who could play at Barca?” Despite a 2nd place finish two seasons ago and a fleeting appearance in the Champions league in the last, the club have not been convincing enough under Brendan Rodgers, which has continued into the season.
Spanish news outlet Fichajes say that the 23-year-old is top of Barcelona’s transfer wish-list when their ban is lifted in the New Year.
And in a move that could be the start of their charm offensive, Neymar has claimed his good friend Coutinho would fit in perfectly at the Nou Camp.
Neymar has said he would be keen to bring his Brazilian compatriot to Catalunya. “He’s a great player and he has Barcelona’s style”.
He said: “Becoming best in the world? What I look for in every season is to get better”, he added.