Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has been handed an injury boost after Philippe Coutinho posted an update on his recovery from injury.
The 30-year-old suffered a hamstring injury prior to the World Cup break, which not only cost him a chance of being included in the Brazil squad, but it also forced him to miss our last three games.
It would have been a real blow for the Brazilian playmaker as he has been unable to make an impression on Emery since he arrived at Villa, and has instead been forced to watch on as others have had a head-start in establishing themselves in his starting XI.
Fortunately though, it looks as though Coutinho has taken an important step forward in his bid to recover in time for the Premier League resuming on Boxing Day, as he has returned to the grass and is training outdoors, as per the images below.
That in turn is good for him, Emery and the squad as a whole if he is able to join the group for our winter training camp trip to Dubai next week. That will not only give him an opportunity to step up his fitness but also to start integrating himself into the Villa boss’s plans.
Given Coutinho has been unable to register a single goal or assist in 13 appearances so far this season, it has been a disappointing and concerning period for him and it has to be said that it’s unlikely he would have made the Brazil squad with that form even if he was fit.
Nevertheless, he still possesses quality and experience at the top level, and it’s vital that Emery gets a chance to make his assessments and potentially help him rediscover his best form to make an important contribution moving forward.
Conversely, the Villa boss could consider him surplus to requirements if he wishes to move in a different direction next year, but it’s crucial that Coutinho gets healthy and stakes his claim before such a decision is made. While it’s unlikely that he will feature too heavily against Liverpool on December 26, it will be a boost to have him available as an option on the bench to possibly change the game if needed and moving forward thereafter.
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) December 1, 2022