Philippe Coutinho’s time at Barcelona has officially come to an end
Barcelona can finally turn the page from Philippe Coutinho as the club reached an agreement with Aston Villa for the Brazilian.
There were reports a deal between the two sides was close and now both clubs have made it official.
According to Sport, Barcelona is set to receive €20 million from Villa and are entitled to 50 percent of any future sale.
Despite interest from other sides, a permanent move to Villa made more sense as manager Steven Gerrard considers him an important part of the team going forward.
"“This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa,” Gerrard said. “Phil is a model professional and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January. With the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch, he’s also a valuable role model for our younger players who can only benefit from his experience.”Source: The Guardian"
Whichever way you slice it, it’s difficult not to rate Barcelona’s most expensive transfer in club history as a flop. Coutinho joined Barcelona in January of 2018 amidst much hype given his performances with Liverpool.
But he never managed to fully mesh with the system or his teammates. One of the arguments made was the space on the pitch where he liked to play was already occupied by Lionel Messi.
With little to no improvement, Coutinho was loaned out to Bayern Munich two seasons ago. However, aside from a few flashes, he wasn’t able to convince the German side to sign him on a permanent deal.
Under Ronald Koeman, Coutinho was afforded another chance to impress. Once again, aside from some sparks here and there, he failed to do so and eventually lost his place to Pedri.
Barcelona then became desperate to move him to make space in their wage bill as he was one of the highest paid players on the team. He agreed to a loan move to Villa during the winter transfer window and, at first, appeared to have figured things out.
He’s been inconsistent but has done enough to convince Aston Villa. The transfer fee will undoubtedly cast more criticism toward the disastrous planning from Barcelona over the last decade.
The move is a net positive for all sides involved. Coutinho gets a fresh start at Aston Villa where he will be important and Barcelona get his wages off the books as they enter a summer in which they are set to make a number of signings as well as arrange for a few departures.