Steven Gerrard spent two-and-a-half years taking the pitch alongside Philippe Coutinho, during which time the Reds missed out on a Premier League title by just two points. The former midfielder described the Brazilian star as the club's "main man" in his book, "My Story," which was published in 2012 and predicted the product of Vasco de Gama's transfer to Barcelona.
Gerrard passed the torch to Coutinho at Anfield, and, on Monday, rued the exit while repeating his explanation of South American footballers and their dream of pulling on Barcelona's shirt.
"I'm still digesting it as a Liverpool fan," Gerrard told BT Sport, as transcribed by ESPN. "I'm not surprised by it. I know Liverpool have done everything they can to keep him and they fought very hard to keep him until the summer. But when a kid's got a dream, a South American, that he wants to play for Barcelona and he thinks this is the only opportunity he's going to get, then it's very difficult to stop it.
"There's no doubt about it, Liverpool will miss him. He's a wonderful footballer, a great person, and, to be fair to him, he hasn't downed tools at all. I respect his decision and wish him all the best. Liverpool will go on. They've got big money for him and I'm sure they'll replace him with the right people."
Coutinho joined Barcelona for a reported fee of €160 million (£142 million), of which €120 million (£105 million) will be paid up front, with the rest received in performance-related bonuses. The footballer's buyout clause is valued at €400 million.
Gerrard 'still digesting' Liverpool's loss of Coutinho