Thursday, December 8

Barça cedes Coutinho to Aston Villa until June


Returns Philippe Coutinho to the Premier. He returns to England, the only country where he was really happy. Come back under the shelter of an old friend, Steven Gerrard, with whom he shared his best days as a footballer at Liverpool. At Anfield it was the stadium where he felt like a true magician, a condition that he is now trying to recover at Aston Villa.

It is being transferred to the English club with a non-compulsory purchase option and the agreement, as reported by Barça, “is pending that the player passes the medical examination and receives the English work permit.” Aston Villa, as the Barça club has recognized, “is taking over a part of the file” of Coutinho, who will travel to Birmingham in the next few hours.

He goes to England on loan until June because neither before (Italy with Inter, the club that discovered him in Brazil, which gave him to Espanyol) nor after (signing for Barça with a roundtrip loan to Bayern Munich) did he find Coutinho the right setting to express himself as a footballer and it was fading. Consuming itself.

For this reason, and at the age of 29, aware that he never found his place at the Camp Nou, surpassed by the huge label of the most expensive player in history, he takes the plane and returns to England choosing Gerrard’s Aston Villa to try a last desperate leap in his career.

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Last because time is running out, disappeared as it goes from the elite. And desperate because the possibility of being able to go to the Qatar-2022 World Cup in November with Tite’s Brazil, a coach who has trusted him, is at stake. But no matter how confident you are, you need me to play. And at Barça he was not going to do it.

I arrive with Valverde in a winter market (January 25, 2018) and leaves with Xavi in another winter market (January 7, 2022). Four years, which is three, actually, because he was on loan at Bayern. He came to replace Iniesta, who months after his arrival chose the Vissel Kobe adventure, and shared locker room chemistry with Luis Suarez, who he had met at Anfield, and Messi. It was the second post signing Neymar. First, Ousmane Dembélé, it already started going wrong from the start. The second, too. And the third, which was Antoine Griezmann, more of the same.

With the transfer of the Brazilian, Barça releases a salary mass to make room for new signings

Needed Coutinho leave the Camp Nou, where he failed to leave any mark with any coach. Not with Valverde. Nor with Koeman. And even less with Xavi, solving a part of the substantial economic problem that suffocates the club: the high salary mass of the staff.

With his transfer to Aston Villa, more resources are found to be able to adjust it to the demand demanded by the Professional Football League (LFP), but it is obvious that Aston Villa is not in a position to assume the salary of the world megastar that he signed in January of 2018 with Bartomeu as president. For this reason, even the Barça club itself has recognized that it only assumes “a part”.

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Located in the anonymous zone of the Premier, it is thirteenth, 11 points from the danger of relegation and 13 from the Champions border that Arsenal marks, Gerrard’s team trusts Coutinho to star in the quality leap it needs.

He is also pursued by the Brazilian, who has faded as a footballer until entering a dark territory, trapped by injuries, unable to be what he once was at Anfield, his true paradise. Tormented, he has lived in football since he left the Liverpool temple. From here to there (Barcelona, ​​Munich, Barcelona and, now, Birmingham) without settling anywhere, as if he had lost that charm that made him receive the nickname of magician.

“He is a wonderful footballer,” said Gerrard, with whom he spent two and a half years playing net. “We are talking about a world-class individual player,” added the Aston Villa manager, while Coutinho He has spent days working out in his private gym. And share that silent effort on your social networks to show that you are reluctant to take the decline.

“He is a wonderful footballer, we are talking about a world-class individual player.”

Steven Gerrard, Aston Villa manager

In nine months, he has undergone three operations on his left knee, even having to go to Brazil (April 2021) to look for the national team doctor to repair it. Now it’s own Coutinho the one who seeks to rebuild as a footballer after a black period, punished by injuries and his maladjustment to the complex Barça universe where he never found his place (he was not a left-handed interior, nor left winger, nor midfielder, a role that is not usually used in the Camp Nou), getting to face the public.

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He leaves and no one will miss him, a portrait of a failure that not only affects him but also those who chose him as a pillar of the Barça sports project and paid out a fortune (120 million plus 40 in variables Liverpool received) never seen after. Now, according to Transfermarkt, the reference website for the world transfer market, the current value of the Brazilian is 18 million. Coutinho leaves and it is as if he had never come to Barça.

Coutinho’s data at Barça

He arrived at the Camp Nou four years ago, but has only played three seasons because he was on loan to Bayern Munich. He has played 106 games with the Barça shirt, scoring 26 goals. Coutinho has obtained 65 victories, 24 draws and 15 defeats.




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