According to the Express, Barcelona are considering selling Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho for a big loss this summer. The 26-year-old only joined the Catalan giants in January 2018 from Liverpool for a massive fee of around £140million.
However, he has struggled to adapt to life in Catalonia. This season the Brazilian has started only 16 matches La Liga, producing a disappointing return of just four goals.
Not suited to Barcelona’s style
It was always going to be difficult for Philippe Coutinho to fit into Barcelona’s style and approach. Arguably the Brazilian’s has produced his best form when playing as a number ten, behind a striker, so he can wander to pick up the ball and create space for himself.
Barcelona do not play with a number ten, though, and even if they did it would negate the impact that Lionel Messi has when he drops deep to pick up possession. That means Coutinho has started as one of the front three or in a central midfield three, not really impressing in either role. He is not disciplined enough to play as a central midfielder, while he is not in the game enough on the flank.
A top player when utilised properly
As he proved at Liverpool prior to the big money switch to the Catalan capital, Philippe Coutinho can be a top player when he is utilised in the right way. At Barcelona, as talked about above he just does not seem like he fits in.
He looks like a square peg in a round hole at times in a Barcelona shirt. Coutinho has been linked with moves to Manchester United and PSG. Reportedly the playmaker does not fancy a return to the Premier League, despite United being favourites to sign the midfielder.
A move to PSG would see him link up with Brazilian international teammate and good friend Neymar. Like Barcelona, PSG plays with a front three, so it is difficult to see where he fitted in their team.
Barcelona move was a mistake
Coutinho always talked about Barcelona being his dream move. However, the reality has not quite synced up with what he had imagined would happen in Catalonia. In a team led by Lionel Messi, every other player is in the Argentinian’s shadow.
Coutinho was a star player at Liverpool. At Barcelona, he is just another player. Maybe the move to Barcelona was a mistake. It is a move he had to make just to see if he could match up to their star players.
At this moment in time, he has struggled to live up to his price tag and his big reputation. Barcelona is one of the toughest teams to prove yourself in, as you are living by a whole different standard of player.
At 26 years-old, Coutinho is in his prime. However, maybe the move was a case of the wrong time. The Brazilian is unlikely to ever play for a bigger club than Barcelona, so he will need to consider his next move carefully if the Catalan giants do decide to sell him this summer.
Will Philippe Coutinho leave Barcelona this summer?