The manager of Aston Villa, Steven Gerrard has described the performance of Philippe Coutinho on Saturday, March 5, as the kind of performance the Brazilian used to give at Liverpool.
Recall that Coutinho played at Liverpool between January 30, 2013, and January 8, 2018. He decided to leave Liverpool for FC Barcelona for a transfer fee worth €135 million.
Before Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for FC Barcelona, the 29-year-old left-winger scored 54 goals and provided 45 assists in 201 games.
But his arrival at FC Barcelona became like a problem to his football career of Coutinho. He could not establish himself at the Spanish side and had to go on loan at Bayern Munich on August 19, 2019.
At Bayern, he won the UEFA Champions League and the German Bundesliga titles. He scored 11 goals and provided 9 assists in 38 games. Despite that, Bayern Munich were not impressed enough and had to let him go at the end of the season.
When he returned to FC Barcelona in the 2020-2021 season, he still could not establish himself. Hence, he had to go on loan again.
Philippe Coutinho joined Aston Villa on loan on January 7, 2022. Since he returned to the Premier League side, he has scored three goals in 7 league games.
Philippe Coutinho’s game by numbers vs Southampton:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 5, 2022
100% long balls completed (3/3)
100% final third passes completed (14/14)
91% pass accuracy
5 ball recoveries
4 attempted take-ons
2 successful take-ons
2 chances created
He’s still got it. 🎩 pic.twitter.com/gREHeoWuk4
On Saturday, March 5, Coutinho played one of his best games in recent times when Southampton visited Villa Park for Villa’s 26th league game.
Steven Gerrard: "He's just a world-class talent." 🔥— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) March 5, 2022
His name's Philippe, Philippe Coutinho… 🎶 pic.twitter.com/uDgQ6gJhLt
During the game, the 29-year-old Brazilian winger scored a goal and provided an assist in Villa’s 4-0 win over Southampton.
After the game, Steven Gerrard who played alongside Coutinho between 2013 and 2015 was impressed by the performance of the Brazilian forward.
“We’ve got Phil [Coutinho] back fit and in a really good physical place. He was right up there with his Liverpool form of old today and he was above the game at times,” Gerrard told BBC.
“I witnessed that at close quarters when I played with him. The goal he scored today, he was sending the defenders one way and the other, and he used to do that to me most days in training.
“He probably finished my career a couple of years early – he’s the reason I’ve got screws in my knees and groin!”
What is the contract between Philippe Coutinho and Aston Villa?
Philippe Coutinho joined Aston Villa on January 7, 2022, on loan. He is expected to return to FC Barcelona on June 30, 2022.
Coutinho had to accept a pay cut to join Aston Villa. He decided to join the Premier League club to play regularly to stand a chance of playing for Brazil in the coming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Reportedly, Aston Villa are paying
Coutinho £125,000 a week. If Aston Villa wants to make the deal payment, the Premier League club have to pay £33 million to FC Barcelona.
Philippe Coutinho has been married since 2012. The wife of Coutinho is Aine. The Brazilian forward and Aine are blessed with three children – Jose Coutinho, Esmeralda Coutinho, and Maria Coutinho.