Top Or Flop? Philippe Coutinho Celebrates One Year With Barcelona But Could The Former Liverpool Star Be Sold?
Sunday 6th January 2019 marks the one year anniversary of Philippe Coutinho's eye-watering £145m transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona, although a difficult second season ensures the jury is still out on the Brazilian playmaker.
Coutinho became the third-most expensive player of all-time when Barca splashed the cash on him twelve months ago and the Catalan giants saw him as the heir apparent to club legend Andres Iniesta, who departed for Japan, and potentially a long-term replacement for the brilliant Lionel Messi.
Despite a hamstring injury delaying his debut for the La Liga side, Coutinho ended the 2017/18 campaign in superb fashion as he scored eight goals and laid on five assists during a fruitful final fourteen games of the season. Much was expected of the Brazilian this season but he has struggled to live up to the hype, scoring just five goals and providing four assists in 22 outings in all competitions, completing 90 minutes on only six occasions.
Coutinho has fallen out of favour in recent weeks. He has had to make do with cameo appearances off the bench in the last three games, despite Ernesto Valverde tinkering with 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 formations, and it is clear that his contribution to the team isn't matching up to those of his teammates.
Ousmane Dembele has come to the fore in recent months, despite his questionable attitude and penchant for turning up late to training, and Coutinho's future at the club has been called into doubt, just twelve months since leaving Liverpool.
It is fair to say that the Reds used the money they took from the Philippe Coutinho deal well as they snapped up Virgil van Dijk and he has been the rock at the heart of their rise to the top of the Premier League table.
In contrast, Coutinho is already 6/1 to re-join Liverpool this month as rumours about his future continue to swirl.
Philippe Coutinho Club After January Transfer Window Odds:
- Liverpool: 6/1
- PSG: 6/1
- Manchester United: 6/1
- Napoli: 8/1
- Manchester City: 8/1
- Chelsea: 16/1
- Juventus: 16/1
- Bayern Munich: 16/1
- Tottenham: 16/1
Odds subject to change and courtesy of BetVictor.com
Coutinho is still scoring or providing an assist every 116 minutes for Barcelona on average - compared to every 136 minutes for Liverpool - but it is clear that the next six months could define his time in Spain.