Aston Villa playmaker Philippe Coutinho has revealed his delight with going through a full pre-season this summer ahead of his first full campaign at the club.
The 30-year-old joined us in January on an initial loan deal before signing on a permanent basis earlier this summer. while he contributed five goals and three assists in 19 appearances last season.
He’ll be hoping to build on that and have a bigger influence on Steven Gerrard’s side moving forward, and the first step to putting himself in a position to do that is having a strong pre-season as a foundation.
After spending June 2020 recovering from an ankle issue, Coutinho was recovering from a ruptured meniscus in August 2021, and so his preparations for the last two campaigns have been disrupted by injury. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the Brazilian international is relishing the opportunity to feature heavily in Australia this summer.
Coutinho on pre-season training
“I missed this, training and seeing my team-mates,” he told VillaTV. “Now we’re together again, it’s great to have time together to know each other better.”
“I feel very happy and I’m looking forward to starting a new season. We’re here in camp to have good and hard training sessions to prepare the team well.
“It’s a long time since I’ve had a full pre-season, and I’m feeling very happy.”
Villa face Leeds Utd on Sunday in the first of three pre-season games in Australia, with matches against Brisbane Roar and Man Utd to follow, before we wrap our preparations up at Rennes the following week.
That’s all ahead of our Premier League season opener against Bournemouth on August 6, and so it’s hoped that Coutinho features as much as possible while avoiding any late setbacks in order to be in optimal condition for that opening weekend.
Meanwhile, he also spoke about the club’s new signings this summer, with Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos arriving to bolster Gerrard’s squad further, and he’s pleased with what they will be able to add to the side this season and beyond.
Coutinho on new Villa signings
“It’s always good when new players arrive, they will be good additions for us,” he added. “They’re great players and for Aston Villa that’s very good because we want to achieve good things this year.”
Time will tell if any further signings aside from Ludwig Augustinsson are made as ultimately it could be argued that there are still some holes to fill in the squad, but we’re certainly in a stronger position now than we were last summer.