It was the world's number one most anticipated deal, so really, no one can claim they have been surprised by Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona. Long before they came calling, many soccer players the world over had anticipated this. Some said he is an ideal replacement for aging midfield maestro Andres Iniesta, while others opine he could bring something unique and special to the Spanish side.

All in all, we know he was bound to arrive at the Catalan club one of those days and on January 6, 2018, Barcelona got their man. It is alleged £142 millions was paid a transfer fee to Liverpool thereby making him the world's Second most expensive player ever after his compatriot Neymar.

Then, at Liverpool

But what does Philippe Coutinho bring to the star-studded Barcelona? Where will he play and how will he fit in? During his four and half years stint, then at Liverpool, being versatile, he was made to play in a number of positions as the managers saw fit. Former manager Brendan Rogers deployed Coutinho the majority f the time as an offensive midfielder. From there, he could use his good vision to locate either Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge with a defense-splitting pass. While under the tutorship of Jurgen Klopp, he played on the flanks as part of a three-man attacking trio. Hence, there's no mistaking he could be in more than one position. He was the very essence of Liverpool and as their talisman, he somewhat gave Liverpool an identity.

Solace, lies with summer signing of Mohamad Salah, who has been putting in a number of eye-catching performances so far.

He might just be the man to take over the helm of affairs as Coutinho departs. Now, what a Coutinho-less Liverpool look like on the pitch is the subject matter for some other day.

There, at Barcelona

Barcelona is where the real thing is. Though he has just moved there, He knows that Barcelona has no shortage of attacking options and talent just like himself. He certainly won't find it any easier there. To have an edge he might need to stay on the edge.

Where he will play there at Barcelona is solely the manager's job. But from the looks of things, he will have to find a domain in the midfield roles. Why? Because in a traditional 4-3-3 formation, the trio of Dembele, Suarez, and Messi fills in, the attacking positions. Only in a nasty situation like an injury to any player listed above could he be reassigned to a different position. Hence, the thesis that he is somewhat a replacement for veteran playmaker Andres Iniesta is quite plausible now.

How much of the game can he influence as an offensive midfielder isn't up to anyone's guess.

But he can make do as he played there when he started out in Liverpool. From the heart of the midfield, he can use his exceptional vision to link up play from the midfield. He would love to curve in his trademark goals from 40 yards just like he did time and again at Liverpool. Not forgetting too, his eye for the goal from set pieces. And Barcelona seems to have been missing such lately ever since Neymar ended ties with a controversial move to Paris Saint German last summer.

He won't be the main man there, at Barcelona because of up-and-coming Lionel Messi. But sure, he can do his bit, use his prowess well and find a niche for himself -in the midfield.