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

Aston Villa have agreed to signal Philippe Coutinho on mortgage from Barcelona with a summer season possibility to completely purchase the previous Liverpool playmaker as he prepares to reunite together with his previous teammate Steven Gerrard.

Pending a medical and work allow, the Brazil worldwide will see out the rest of the 2021-22 marketing campaign at Villa Park as he seeks to rediscover knowledgeable spark that was misplaced in Catalunya.

He beforehand starred on the Premier League stage throughout 5 years at Anfield, and can be hoping to choose up the place he left off. The 29-year-old first arrived in England again within the winter window of 2013, when Liverpool lured him away from Serie A giants Inter. Coutinho settled rapidly on Merseyside and have become a key inventive cog for the Reds underneath Brendan Rodgers.


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Although main silverware proved elusive, it was a productive stint with the Reds: In whole, Coutinho took in 201 appearances for Liverpool and registered 54 objectives, whereas additionally proving to be a helpful supply of assists.

Welcome, Philippe Coutinho! 🙌

Aston Villa and FC Barcelona have agreed phrases for Philippe Coutinho to spend the remainder of this season on mortgage at Villa Park. 🇧🇷


— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 7, 2022

Those efforts earned loads of admiring glances from afar, with the chance to full a dream swap to Barcelona presenting itself in January 2018. A $198 million switch would materialize, however Coutinho struggled to keep his excessive requirements alongside Lionel Messi at Camp Nou. And with niggling accidents proving problematic all through his spell on the membership, Barcelona is lastly prepared to minimize its losses and move on.

Various touchdown spots have been mooted for him since then, and it has been reported that six Premier League groups expressed curiosity. But he’s hoping {that a} as soon as profitable partnership with Gerrard on the sphere will ship an upturn in fortune as soon as once more.

Coutinho’s dream move turns into nightmare

When he left the Premier League in January 2018, the Brazilian was prepared to set up himself as one of many world’s finest. Four years later, he’s looking for to rebuild his profession, to put the nightmare of his ‘dream’ move behind him.


Not many gamers swap Barcelona for Aston Villa and see it as a step ahead, however for Coutinho this was a much-needed swap.

Gerrard performed with Coutinho for two-and-a-half seasons at Liverpool and his affect on this deal is evident. Villa, thirteenth within the Premier League, will rightly see it as a coup, even when others will take a extra cynical stance.

Coutinho, lest we overlook, is the third-most costly participant in soccer historical past. Only Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have ever been transferred for greater than the $198 million Barcelona agreed with Liverpool again in 2018.

He was 25 on the time, about to enter his prime and he was considered in Catalonia because the inheritor obvious to Andres Iniesta, a participant to each excite followers and ship trophies. He undoubtedly gained some trophies — two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies and a Spanish Super Cup at Barcelona, plus a Champions League throughout a mortgage spell with Bayern Munich in 2020 — however he wasn’t precisely the rationale why.

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Coutinho, Barcelona’s largest ever signing, has simply 30 appearances in whole for the membership and 24 throughout the last two seasons. With Barcelona now targeted on blooding kids, the likes of Nico, Gavi, and Yusuf Demir, Coutinho has had to content material himself with a bit-part function, showing sometimes and infrequently ineffectually from the bench.

His place within the Brazil team has vanished, too. His last cap got here in October 2020, though he was, considerably surprisingly, known as up to the squad for November’s World Cup qualifiers. The likes of Lucas Paqueta, Raphinha, Antony, Vinicius Junior and Matheus Cunha, nonetheless, all featured forward of him; an indication of the problem he faces if he needs to power his means into Tite’s plans for Qatar.

Can Coutinho revive his profession at Aston Villa?

Villa, in fact, hopes to be the beneficiary, and can be banking on Coutinho rediscovering the magic which noticed him mild up Liverpool throughout his 5 years on Merseyside. There was a cause, in any case, that Barcelona wished to pay all that cash for him.

Coutinho’s expertise is huge, his potential to carry the ball, choose killer passes and produce gorgeous long-range strikes has the potential to significantly enhance Gerrard’s facet, which stays inconsistent for the reason that lack of talisman Jack Grealish to Manchester City in the summertime.

“I do not suppose you get a nickname as a 𝗠𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗻 in the event you’re not a particular footballer.” ✨

Steven Gerrard on Philippe Coutinho, who has agreed phrases to spend the remainder of this season on mortgage at Villa Park, with an possibility to purchase. 🤝

— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 7, 2022

Coutinho, naturally, has been linked to a bunch of Premier League golf equipment prior to the Aston Villa move. Liverpool’s title was talked about in nearly each switch window, although the Reds’ stance has at all times been the identical: no curiosity, no chance of a return to Anfield, nonetheless extremely he was considered by Jurgen Klopp & Co.

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He made greater than 200 appearances for the Reds, scoring 54 objectives, however followers additionally keep in mind the way in which he sought to engineer that move to Barca, the switch request on the eve of the 2017-18 season, and the curious ‘again harm’ which stored him out of motion for weeks as soon as Liverpool had refused to promote.

Klopp’s facet improved after he left. The price obtained for Coutinho successfully paid for the arrivals of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker, who could be key gamers as Liverpool grew to become European, world and finally Premier League champions. They could have mourned his departure, however they have not missed him.

There will, one imagines, be loads of rubbernecking as soon as Coutinho will get down to enterprise for Villa. Fans, pundits and observers can be eager to see simply how a lot these 4 years at Barcelona have taken out of the participant, and whether or not Gerrard could be the one to unlock that wealthy potential as soon as extra.

If he can, then Villa could have pulled off the signing of the window. But it’s an enormous if.

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