Barcelona’s management is looking for a new version of Coutinho
Coutinho is ready to get a place in the starting line-up of Barcelona. Management wants to remake the old version of the Brazilian midfielder.
Departure of Messi makes things easier
Following the departures of Leo Messi and Antoine Griezmann, the only big money signing left at Barcelona is Philippe Coutinho. He arrived in January 2018 when Barça decided to splash out 120 million euros plus a further 40 million is add-ons to bring him to Camp Nou from Liverpool. When all totted up, he will have cost the club 160 million euros, making him the most expensive signing in FC Barcelona’s history.
But within weeks of his arrival, all of the initial expectations about the Brazilian started to fade. He never found his position within the side – Ernesto Valverde fielded him on the left wing with disappointing results; he looked out of place – daunted in Leo Messi’s shadow, never managed to connect with the fans and even covered his ears to make a point after scoring against Manchester United. An introverted, sensitive character, Coutinho’s adventure at Barcelona descended even further into absurdity when he scored against his employers and set up another goal in the humiliating 2-8 thrashing to Bayern Munich where he had been sent out on loan.
Dream killer injury in La liga
Of course, the main reason for the lack of interest was down to caution regarding Coutinho’s fitness. His last game was on 29 December 2020, against Eibar at Camp Nou. In that match he suffered a serious injury affecting the meniscus in his left knee – one which required surgery and a long, slow rehabilitation, during which he travelled to Brazil for a second opinion, returned and underwent another operation. An injury which had been estimated to keep him sidelined for four months ended up keeping him out for almost nine months.