After 3 years at Barcelona Phillipe Coutinho made his 100th appearance for the Catalan giants. His time at Barcelona has been largely a disappointment in comparison to the expectations put on him.
Who can forget the situation surrounding his transfer from Liverpool with Coutinho putting up his own cash for the deal and Klopp playing him in a dead rubber champions league match to cup-tie him? Coutinho was going to be the player that filled the gap in the midfield left by Iniesta and Xavi. However, the Brazilian has not lived up to the billing. Even after 100 matches for Barcelona, he is yet to prove naysayers wrong who advised him against the move. One of those being Klopp whose last piece of managerial advice to him was “Stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honour. Go somewhere else and you will be just another player. Here you can be something else.”
In 100 games which were also disrupted by a loan move to Bayern, the Brazilian playmaker scored 25 times and contributed only 13 assists. www.gamblingmentor.org Coutinho had to change his playing style when joining Barcelona. He went from playing through the centre with the ability to cut in and shoot and less defensive responsibilities to now playing out on the left. That restricts his creativity which is such an assist and removes the option of him cutting in and shooting as he is left-footed. He is also forced to sit back being a part of a midfield three rather than having that freedom to room forward as much as he wants.
He thrives on being the focus player at a team and at Barcelona a team littered with so many it was hard for him. He can turn a game around with his vision and weaving dribbling which we haven’t seen much at Barcelona likely due to his confidence hindering his flare.
Injuries have played a role in Coutinho’s downfall with his spell at Barcelona starting with a thigh injury. He has missed 55 games so far due to injury. Every time he recovered his reintroduction to the first team has been slow and with him having to stop-start so often he hasn’t been able to put in a good long run in the team as a starter.
Barcelona as a collective have been struggling in recent years but that’s when you need key players like Coutinho to step up.
With him being currently one of the highest earners on the Barcelona roster his exit is looking inevitable. He is linked with a move back to the Premier League with Newcastle and Arsenal is interested in signing him. His spell at Barcelona might be at an end due to them needing funds for the same reason why Grizesman and Messi were moved on.
There’s absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Coutinho will go down as a Barcelona flop but at 29 he still has the chance to join another club and be the star of the show.