In January 2018, Barcelona paid Liverpool a reported fee of around £144million to sign Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho. The move had been brewing since the previous summer.
At the time, it looked like the playmaker’s career would go from strength-to-strength. However, the 27-year-old has experienced a tepid career in Catalonia. In fact, he has made such a little impact that he is now surplus to requirements at the club.
Tottenham favourites to sign Coutinho
Sky Sports are reporting that Tottenham are the favourites to sign the Brazilian international on a season-long loan deal before the Premier League transfer window shuts on Thursday evening. The report claims that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has called Coutinho to persuade him to join the north London club.
Tottenham endured yet another quiet transfer window, with their only signing French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon for a club-record fee. However, Spurs seem to be busy attempting to add quality reinforcements to their squad.
Reports from the European media suggest that the north London side has agreed a fee with Sporting Lisbon for midfielder Bruno Fernandes. Real Betis attacking midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has also been consistently linked with a switch to Spurs. Coutinho may prove to be a more cost-friendly signing for a club who are notoriously cautious when it comes to finances.
Coutinho is a known quantity in the Premier League
Philippe Coutinho’s best seasons of football of his career have been in the Premier League with Liverpool. A return to the English top-flight could help the Brazilian rediscover his top form. No doubt he was a top player for the Reds, who finally found some much-needed consistency in the last 18 months of his time on Merseyside.
The likes of Lo Celso and Fernandes are highly-rated. The pair also both enjoyed outstanding seasons at club level. Their performances inevitably drew attention from elsewhere, especially Fernandes who had also been linked with Manchester United.
One thing that both players have in common is that they have played in the Premier League. Many players are adaptable and can play in any league with ease. However, some players only shine in certain leagues.
Tottenham have had recent experience of the latter with Argentinian attacking midfielder Erik Lamela. He has suffered many injuries problems that have restricted his game time in north London. However, he has failed to impress since moving from Roma in 2013 for a fee of £30million. That is the danger with the likes of Lo Celso.
Tottenham still not good enough for a title challenge
This season Tottenham are likely to be the closest team to last seasons top two of Manchester City and Liverpool. It would take something extraordinary for the pair not to be the top-two next season, with no team even close to them.
Tottenham have not strengthened significantly to mount a serious challenge to either side. However, if the north London team could bring in some quality additions before the summer transfer window shuts, then they have a better chance of making up ground on City and Liverpool.
Signing Coutinho on season-long loan would surely be a shrewd move from Spurs. Only time will tell if we will see the Brazilian in a Spurs shirt anytime soon though.
Will Philippe Coutinho return to the Premier League before the close of the summer transfer window?