Why Philippe Coutinho's move to Aston Villa makes sense: One last chance to make Brazil's 2022 World Cup team

10 months ago 165
Philippe Coutinho - FC Barcelona - 2021 (Getty Images)

Aston Villa person agreed to motion Philippe Coutinho connected indebtedness from Barcelona with a summer option to permanently acquire the erstwhile Liverpool playmaker arsenic helium prepares to reunite with his aged teammate Steven Gerrard.

Pending a aesculapian and enactment permit, the Brazil planetary volition spot retired the remainder of the 2021-22 run astatine Villa Park arsenic helium seeks to rediscover a nonrecreational spark that was mislaid successful Catalunya.

He antecedently starred connected the Premier League signifier crossed 5 years astatine Anfield, and volition beryllium hoping to prime up wherever helium near off. The 29-year-old archetypal arrived successful England backmost successful the wintertime model of 2013, erstwhile Liverpool lured him distant from Serie A giants Inter. Coutinho settled rapidly connected Merseyside and became a cardinal originative cog for the Reds nether Brendan Rodgers.

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Although large silverware proved elusive, it was a productive stint with the Reds: In total, Coutinho took successful 201 appearances for Liverpool and registered 54 goals, portion besides proving to beryllium a utile root of assists.

Welcome, Philippe Coutinho! 🙌

Aston Villa and FC Barcelona person agreed presumption for Philippe Coutinho to walk the remainder of this play connected indebtedness astatine Villa Park. 🇧🇷

— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 7, 2022

Those efforts earned plentifulness of admiring glances from afar, with the accidental to implicit a imagination power to Barcelona presenting itself successful January 2018. A $198 cardinal transportation would materialize, but Coutinho struggled to support his precocious standards alongside Lionel Messi at Camp Nou. And with niggling injuries proving problematic throughout his spell astatine the club, Barcelona is yet acceptable to chopped its losses and determination on.

Various landing spots person been mooted for him since then, and it's been reported that six Premier League teams expressed interest. But helium is hoping that a erstwhile palmy concern with Gerrard connected the tract volition present an upturn successful luck erstwhile again.

Coutinho's imagination determination turns into nightmare

When helium near the Premier League successful January 2018, the Brazilian was acceptable to found himself arsenic 1 of the world’s best. Four years later, helium is seeking to rebuild his career, to enactment the nightmare of his ‘dream’ determination down him.

Not galore players swap Barcelona for Aston Villa and spot it arsenic a measurement forward, but for Coutinho this was a much-needed switch.

Gerrard played with Coutinho for two-and-a-half seasons astatine Liverpool and his power successful this woody is clear. Villa, 13th successful the Premier League, volition rightly spot it arsenic a coup, adjacent if others volition instrumentality a much cynical stance.

Coutinho, lest we forget, is the third-most costly subordinate successful shot history. Only Neymar and Kylian Mbappe person ever been transferred for much than the $198 cardinal Barcelona agreed with Liverpool backmost successful 2018.

He was 25 astatine the time, astir to participate his premier and helium was viewed successful Catalonia arsenic the heir evident to Andres Iniesta, a subordinate to some excite fans and present trophies. He decidedly won immoderate trophies — two La Liga titles, 2 Copa del Rey trophies and a Spanish Super Cup at Barcelona, positive a Champions League during a indebtedness spell with Bayern Munich in 2020 — but helium wasn't precisely the crushed why.

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Coutinho, Barcelona’s biggest ever signing, has conscionable 30 appearances successful full for the nine and 24 crossed the past 2 seasons. With Barcelona present focused on blooding youngsters, the likes of Nico, Gavi, and Yusuf Demir, Coutinho has had to contented himself with a bit-part role, appearing occasionally and often ineffectually from the bench.

His spot successful the Brazil squad has vanished, too. His past headdress came successful October 2020, though helium was, somewhat surprisingly, called up to the squad for November’s World Cup qualifiers. The likes of Lucas Paqueta, Raphinha, Antony, Vinicius Junior and Matheus Cunha, however, each featured up of him; a motion of the situation helium faces if helium wishes to unit his mode into Tite’s plans for Qatar.

Can Coutinho revive his vocation astatine Aston Villa?

Villa, of course, hopes to beryllium the beneficiary, and volition beryllium banking connected Coutinho rediscovering the magic which saw him airy up Liverpool during his 5 years connected Merseyside. There was a reason, aft all, that Barcelona wanted to wage each that wealth for him.

Coutinho’s endowment is vast, his quality to transportation the ball, prime slayer passes and nutrient stunning long-range strikes has the imaginable to earnestly amended Gerrard’s side, which remains inconsistent since the nonaccomplishment of talisman Jack Grealish to Manchester City successful the summer.

"I don't deliberation you get a nickname arsenic a 𝗠𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗻 if you're not a peculiar footballer." ✨

Steven Gerrard connected Philippe Coutinho, who has agreed presumption to walk the remainder of this play connected indebtedness astatine Villa Park, with an enactment to buy. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/BFbxhGLxkR

— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 7, 2022

Coutinho, naturally, has been linked to a big of Premier League clubs anterior to the Aston Villa move. Liverpool’s sanction was mentioned successful conscionable astir each transportation window, though the Reds’ stance has ever been the same: no interest, nary accidental of a instrumentality to Anfield, nevertheless highly helium was thought of by Jurgen Klopp & Co.

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He made much than 200 appearances for the Reds, scoring 54 goals, but fans besides retrieve the mode helium sought to technologist that determination to Barca, the transportation petition connected the eve of the 2017-18 season, and the funny 'back injury’ which kept him retired of enactment for weeks erstwhile Liverpool had refused to sell.

Klopp’s broadside improved aft helium left. The interest received for Coutinho efficaciously paid for the arrivals of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker, who would beryllium cardinal players arsenic Liverpool became European, satellite and yet Premier League champions. They whitethorn person mourned his departure, but they haven't missed him.

There will, 1 imagines, beryllium plentifulness of rubbernecking erstwhile Coutinho gets down to concern for Villa. Fans, pundits and observers volition beryllium keen to spot conscionable however overmuch those 4 years astatine Barcelona person taken retired of the player, and whether Gerrard tin beryllium the 1 to unlock that affluent imaginable erstwhile more.

If helium can, past Villa whitethorn person pulled disconnected the signing of the window. But it’s a large if.

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