How Coutinho’s struggles in Barcelona shaped him into the player he is now

Philippe Coutinho became a household name when Barcelona parted with £142million in a record signing, landing the Brazilian midfielder from Liverpool. That was back in 2018, and talk was rife about what a good signing this would be and how far Barcelona would go. But this was not to be.

In the years that followed, Barcelona made many mistakes that inevitably shook the midfielder’s confidence, lowering his chances of bagging another big win. We look at the struggles this player faced at Barcelona and how he can overcome them now that he has found a home at Aston Villa:

The Key Mistakes Barcelona Made

After parting with a whopping £142million for Coutinho, all eyes were on Barcelona, which was keen on proving that the player was worth such a sizeable amount. Betting sites like Titanbet responded to the hype and soon backed Barcelona with incredible odds that pushed more fans to wager on him. However, once the player struggled to make an impact, Barcelona quickly loaned him out to Bayern Munich. He had not made the first team, and they were eager to recoup part of the capital. What errors had led to such a significant shift in energy?

  • Barcelona paid £142million on a deal that should have cost them £123 million: When Barca’s management first approached Liverpool, Coutinho was at the helm of his career. The Reds were not happy about letting him go, so they held out long enough for Barcelona to increase their offer. So, with that decision out of the way, you can imagine the pressure they put on the young player’s shoulders, requiring him to be worth the transfer money. But that’s not all that went wrong – the Reds had Barcelona sign a deal that if they wanted another player after Coutinho, they would pay £89 million in addition to the transfer fee. Barcelona had long been shopping in their territory and had bagged players like Louis Suarez and Javier Mascherano in the past. And now, the Reds were putting their foot down and demanding a clause that would also benefit them.
  • Barcelona wanted Coutinho to step into Iniesta’s shoes: The young player soon realized that he was set to fill the gap that Andrés Iniesta had left in Barcelona after 22 years. Was this a small task? Not at all – and as he tried his best to fit into the starting 11, he struggled to the point of being shipped off on loan.
  • Barcelona was between a rock and a hard place: Now that the team had signed the clause with the Reds and Coutinho was not matching his hype, they had no option but to hope that another team would take him. But Coutinho’s time with Bayern Munich did not end in a record signing. Instead, they returned him to Barcelona, citing that the player had seemed inhibited.

Eventually, Barcelona, which had initially settled for a release clause of £355 million, started considering lower offers. By the time Aston Villa came around to negotiate an agreement, the terms were quite favourable. They started with a 6-month loan contract that resulted in a £17 million 4-year-contract.

Will things be different this time around?

Coutinho has always been a strong player. Even at Bayern, the team stated that he did well in training, even if he did not consistently deliver the same vigor during the matches. He has excellent key passes, dribbles exceptionally, and likes cutting inside. His weaknesses become apparent when he attempts crossing or aerial duels. Other than that, he is an asset to any team.

Now that his signing with Aston Villa is out of the way, senior players have been citing that they are ready to work with him and believe that he will play well. This time around, the 29-year-old knows that this might be his last chance to showcase his skills and he will likely bring his A-game. After all, Steven Gerrard has built a team based on players who play well with each other. And now that Coutinho is not stepping in to fill someone’s shoes as he did in Barca, he will not have so much pressure weighing him down.
All the best to the new Aston Villa signing!

Original Source: A Villa Fan

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