After confirming an agreement with Barcelona over a loan deal for Philippe Coutinho, Aston Villa will hope the ‘Magician’ can weave his magic consistently at Villa Park this season.
It’s a statement signing if there ever was one for Villa, and it certainly brings a level of excitement and expectation that exceeds any arrival that have come before for many years.
🚨✅ Aston Villa and FC Barcelona have agreed terms for Philippe Coutinho to spend the rest of this season on loan at Villa Park.
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) January 7, 2022
While there are big advantages to the move itself that Villa will benefit from given the calibre and the profile of Coutinho both domestically and at an international level, the most important factor in this swoop is of course his ability to make the difference on the pitch.
As per the club’s official statement, Coutinho joins us on a loan deal until the end of this season, while there is an option to buy included in the agreement. Ultimately the hope from a Villa perspective is that it becomes a no-brainer to sign him outright as a result of his form and importantly that we’re subsequently in a position to make that happen both financially and in matching his ambition on the pitch.
Coutinho a potentially game-changing signing for Villa
For Coutinho himself, this is an important move. While he has enjoyed success at Barcelona, he hasn’t reached the heights that many expected him to at the Camp Nou.
A return to the Premier League where he produced his most magical form for Liverpool could spark that quality in him again, and he also has the objective of cementing his place in the Brazil squad for the World Cup later this year driving him too.
Add to that the opportunity to link up with Steven Gerrard again after their stint together at Anfield, and he has a Head Coach who knows what he is capable of, believes in his ability to reach that level again, and will give him the platform to go out and display that on the pitch as a leading figure in this Villa side.
The important thing is that this isn’t going to be solely on Coutinho’s shoulders. As he adapts and adjusts to life back in the Premier League, gets himself fit and healthy and stays that way, the likes of Emiliano Buendia, Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings will hopefully take some pressure off him and allow him to settle in at a decent pace.
However, once he feels in peak condition, Villa will be expecting a big influence from the Brazilian international, one that will drive us up the standings and into contention for Europe, and improves those around him too with Jacob Ramsey arguably first in line to benefit from our new arrival if he grabs the opportunity to learn from him in training.
Sceptics will have doubts over Coutinho given his struggles at Barcelona, and his classy performances at Liverpool and even Bayern Munich to an extent are now some time ago.
Nevertheless, with a fresh start, a new environment, Gerrard understanding how to get the best out of him as a focal point in the Villa XI and pushing for it to happen, the motivation of making this stretch of his career count both for club and country, it has all the ingredients needed for Coutinho to make this a successful new adventure, both for himself and Villa.
It’s hoped that is indeed the way it works out, as there is of course the threat that it turns out similar to that of James Rodriguez’s time at Everton. However, this move will lift all concerned at Villa, and it has the ability to be an inspiring move that really starts to take this club in a completely new direction and to a different level.