“Koeman’s thoughts are encouraging and only time can tell whether Coutinho would be able to rediscover himself at Camp Nou and to achieve the best of Coutinho, Koeman needs to give him the role that he played at Anfield and if he can’t provide such then, only giving statements would not help, rather, Coutinho should try for another cub where he would be able to lead the attack”
Where is Philippe Coutinho?
Does he even exist in the football area?
Has his destruction been completed at Barcelona?
Would world football be able to enjoy the show of Coutinho again?
There was a time when Coutinho was regarded as the little magician in world football and one of the vital cogs in Selecao.
At Anfield, he was reaching the level of God-like status and success was just around the corner – he broke the hearts of every Liverpool fan and joined Barca despite knowing all the facts regarding Neymar.
He witnessed the famous chokes in Rome and Anfield and at La Liga, gradually, he became an unknown identity and at present, he is in a state, where he is the shadow f the past.
Whereas imagine Coutinho at Liverpool right now – surely, there would have been a plan for establishing a statue of him outside Anfield and by now, he would have been the winner of Champions League and Premier League – a legendary figure like the heroes of the past.
He was influential enough to dominate larger parts of Liverpool’s attacking option and his national side, being granted a tailored role that allowed him to flutter between attack and midfield from the left.
Whenever the Reds took the pitch, Coutinho was the man who would solve all their problems because the funda was: Give the ball to Phil and Phil would make Anfield happy.
The little magician outlasted the likes of Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling at Anfield, with Steven Gerrard departing for the United States and Daniel Sturridge struggling to make himself available often enough, so he began to lead the attack of the Reds.
Coutinho is a highly gifted footballer blessed with amazing sets of skills and requires freedom to perform. The Brazilian assumes the form of a left-sided forward who also wants to occupy central midfield spaces, and he’s naturally inclined to see lots of the ball while accumulating bags of shots high up the field.
His last full campaign in England saw him average around 4.3 shots per 90, behind only Sergio Aguero in the Premier League and marginally ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Harry Kane.
It was telling that Coutinho was surrounded by strikers in the shooting department but unlike those players, he averaged roughly 50 passes on a per-90 basis.
At Barcelona, such a place was solely granted to a certain Lionel Messi and thus, the move to Barca turned into a nightmare because the role which Coutinho played in Anfield was dominated by Messi – who came from centrally from the right and this hampered the rhythm of Coutinho.
Messi had been the face of Camp Nou for more than a decade and it was obvious he would occupy that space and his tendency to drift around the valuable spaces of the final third with plenty of freedom totally denied Coutinho from performing.
Coutinho, meanwhile, was forced to occupy a functional role under Ernesto Valverde due to Messi’s presence and was unable to showcase the magic and individual moments of brilliance that he previously produced in Liverpool due to those confines.
He was forced to perform as though he was a mere mortal, which coincidentally is what Klopp forecasted when he told him, “Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player. Here, they will end up building a statue in your honour.”
How true Klopp was!
How badly the world and Brazil lost such a gifted player only because of mismanagement at Barcelona!
The current coach Ronald Koeman still invests faith in Coutinho.
Although the talk in Barcelona’s offices was to sell Coutinho, Ronald Koeman has always made it clear that he is a fan of the former Inter man.
Last season, he started the season as a regular starter before injury and Pedri arrived to prove himself.
Koeman now wishes to integrate him into the side, assuming that he has regained full fitness, as he can play either in midfield or in a front three.
Not only can he compete with Pedri or Frenkie de Jong, but he can also play as a left-winger.
That is crucial as it gives Koeman options in attack, which are sorely lacking with Sergio Aguero, Ansu Fati, and Ousmane Dembele all out injured.
Koeman’s thoughts are encouraging and only time can tell whether Coutinho would be able to rediscover himself at camp Nou and to achieve the best of Coutinho, Koeman needs to give him the role that he played at Anfield and if he can’t provide such then, only giving statements would not help, rather, Coutinho should try for another cub where he would be able to lead the attack.