Former Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert believes they missed their opportunity to sell Philippe Coutinho in the summer and should now insist on keeping him this January transfer window.
The Reds remained resilient throughout the summer by blocking three advances from Barcelona, but it is expected that they will be back in for the Brazilian playmaker in January.
Reports claim he has already agreed personal terms with the Catalan club, but despite lodging an official transfer request, Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group rejected all transfer fees to keep their star player.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Lambert said: "I was confident he was going to be okay, like you said, he's a lovely lad. He just gets on with his football, it means the world to him and he's given everything to Liverpool. I would've been gutted if he left but I would have appreciated everything he gave to the club.
"The fact that he's stayed, I cannot understand any reason for Liverpool to sell him in January. That does not make sense. I'm probably going to get a little bit of stick for this, but Liverpool should have let him go. He asked to go. I know it was late in the transfer window and I can understand why we kept hold of him.
"But if he's made the effort to come out and say he want's to go, everything that he's done for the club, I thought he'd be allowed to go."
Lambert played with Coutinho during his brief spell at Anfield under Brendan Rodgers, and the way he still uses the word 'we' shows just how passionately he still feels about his boyhood club.