This week, Phillipe Coutinho returned to England to face Manchester United in the Champions League, but this time, he wasn't wearing the famous red of Liverpool.
The last time the Brazilian made the trip to Old Trafford in Europe, he expertly lobbed David de Gea to knock United out of the Europa League, but on Wednesday he was little more than a cog in Erneste Valverde's machine.
In truth, Coutinho could have found himself scoring the decisive goal once again, had Luke Shaw not deflected Luis Suarez's head past De Gea and into the net.
Coutinho was following the ball in, but this time he had to settle for being one of the supporting cast in Manchester, and not the hero.
Philippe Coutinho opens up on his "dream" return to Anfield
The 26-year-old was signed by the Spanish giants last season, but since, he's regressed and has failed to make an impact at the club that he'd longed to sign for, submitting a transfer request in the months previous. The fee of £142m is often understated, perhaps due to the excessive fees paid by PSG for Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Presently, Coutinho is the third-most expensive player in football history, but this season he's only played as frequently as Fabinho has for Liverpool.
Crucially, though, Fabinho has spent a lot of time learning the patterns and intricacies of Jurgen Klopp's system behind the scenes, especially in the early stages of the season, and he only arrived in the summer.
Coutinho on the other hand, has been at Barcelona for over one year now, and he's featured in virtually every league match this season, suggesting there's no lack of understanding present. Despite that, though, the former Liverpool playmaker has completed 90 minutes just seven times this season, with the majority of his minutes accumulated either as a substitute or as a starter before being subbed off.
What is the problem, then? Is Coutinho simply not good enough for Barcelona, or is there more to it?
The issue primarily stems from a lack of suitability, as Coutinho gradually developed at Anfield into a player that requires a specific role that has almost been tailored for him. Klopp afforded the South American much creative freedom in Merseyside, similar to how Tite does when calling him up to the national side.
He's a unique talent in that he's capable out wide and in central areas, and he makes a lot of passes for an attacker. Also, there's the obvious positive that he's one of the world's best at executing shots from distance, with that expertise also able to be translated when taking set-pieces.
However, those talents are significantly less valuable at Barcelona right now largely because of two people - Valverde and Lionel Messi.
The Barcelona head coach has maintained the core principles held by the Catalan club, but he's also instilled a strict system, particularly defensively, with either 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 utilised. Within that system, one player is afforded creative freedom to effectively do as he pleases, and that player is Messi.
Messi essentially has the role that Coutinho requires to succeed, as it's tailored to his abilities, it's creative, and there's somewhat less enforced responsibility. Also, Messi takes the free-kicks whenever he's on the pitch, and rightfully so too considering the Argentine has slotted 20 in the last five seasons, which is more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.
Ultimately, the presence of Messi renders Coutinho somewhat redundant, and Valverde cannot simply tailor another role for him, as the overall system has to be retained. As a result, Coutinho's output has suffered, with his attacker radar pictured below based on league minutes.
This is largely why gradually with time, rumours have surfaced relative to Coutinho's return to Anfield.
There is yet to be real concrete evidence that he wants to leave yet, and that Barcelona are even willing to sell him - but if so, should Liverpool allow his return?
The simple logical answer, without considering aspects such as how much he'd cost and how he initially forced his move away, is yes; Liverpool should absolutely be interested in re-signing their former no.10.
Klopp currently has a strong squad at his disposal, but there are several voids that will likely be addressed this summer. Coutinho's return would single-handedly fill two of those voids.
Firstly, another option is required for the left-sided offensive role in addition to Sadio Mane, as the Senegalese is the only genuine right-footed inside forward at the club, with Divock Origi often being shoehorned into the role this season. If Mane doesn't play, there's a significant drop in standard.
Secondly, Liverpool require a creative type who's capable of playing in the midfield three. The likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum offer a great deal, but little in terms of outright invention and offensive threat.
Coutinho's signature would cover those two needs fairly seamlessly. In addition, it's worth considering that he's still just 26, meaning that Liverpool would still firmly be able to experience his peak years.
What's more, Klopp's side have scored just once from direct free-kicks in the Premier League this season, as well as five times from outside the box. To compare, Man City have notched 13 from outside the area, Arsenal 12, Manchester United 11, Spurs 10, and Chelsea 9.
Coutinho managed to score seven league goals for Liverpool last season before departing in January - two of those came from outside the box, and another two came from direct free-kicks.
Once clubs reach a stage with recruitment whereby a strong core and base has been formed, squad building can then become more about simply adding tools and different elements to an extent, so that a manager is equipped for effectively every scenario. The more tools a manager has at his disposal, the more capable the squad becomes in terms of problem solving.
Coutinho's addition would provide a completely different element to what Liverpool currently have, as well as filling two clear voids.
The only issue at hand would be the fee demanded by the Spanish club, but considering his age and what he'd offer, his price may be justifiable.
Liverpool have moved forward since Coutinho's departure, reaching the Champions League final and contesting for club football's two biggest prizes this season.
That, however, does not mean considering his return would be a backwards step.