Philippe Coutinho officially completes his move to Aston Villa from Barcelona. The Brazilian will make his return to Premier League after leaving Liverpool in 2018.
Aston Villa is currently bringing in Coutinho on a loan move. However, the club has the provision to make the move permanent in the summer.
The move was finalised on Tuesday as the player obtained the work permit. Coutinho will wear the number 23 jersey for Aston Villa and becomes the first signing of manager Steven Gerrard.
DISAPPOINTING TIME AT SPAIN
Coutinho had a very difficult time in Barcelona after never cementing his place in the La Liga outfit. The Blaugrana’s paid around £146 million to sign the Brazilian in 2018 from Liverpool. This huge transfer fee often put very high expectations on Coutinho, which he could not live up to.
His best time since his move came when the 29-year-old was loaned out to Bayern Munich, where he became part of the team that won the treble. Coutinho infamously scored against Barcelona in the Champions League, helping in knocking out his parent club.
For the Brazilian, the dream Barcelona move was a nightmare as he struggled for playing time. When Coutinho did manage to get on the pitch, he was often played out wide, where he could only make little impact. He made 106 appearances for Barca across all competitions, contributing to 25 goals and 14 assists. (all stats taken from Transfermarkt)
COUTINHO JOINS GERRARD AT ASTON VILLA
Barcelona has been trying to sell Coutinho for some time, but never got a good offer. With new manager Xavi demanding new signings, the La Liga outfit was forced to offload the 29-year-old at the earliest.
Many clubs were linked with a move for Coutinho including the likes of Newcastle United and Leicester City. But it was Aston Villa, who were able to secure his signature. One of the reasons for this is manager Steven Gerrard, who has previously played with Coutinho in Liverpool.
Coutinho joins Aston Villa on a season-long loan deal. However, the Premier League club has the option to buy the player at the end of the loan, for a reported fee of £33 million. If Aston Villa can get Coutinho to regain his old form, they will have themselves an excellent attacking midfielder in their squad. As for Coutinho, the move is a great chance to get more minutes under his belt and push for places in the Brazil World Cup squad.
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