Aston Villa have announced that they’ve agreed terms with Barcelona over a loan move for Philippe Coutinho.
As per the club’s official site, the Brazilian international will join us on a temporary basis until the end of the season, while the switch is still subject to Coutinho passing a medical and receiving a work permit.
🚨✅ 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
Further, Villa add in their statement that we have an option to buy the 29-year-old at the end of his loan spell, and he will travel to Birmingham to complete the formalities of his move in the next 48 hours. As per Barcelona’s statement, they note that we’ve agreed to pay part of Coutinho’s salary, but a specific figure is not noted.
While Coutinho has struggled with injuries in recent years, there is no doubting the quality and calibre of the Brazilian ace, particularly following his spell with Liverpool.
Steven Gerrard knows him well from their time together at Anfield, and so he’ll be relishing the opportunity to work with his former teammate again, and ultimately to get the best out of him in the second half of the campaign to help push Villa to the next level and compete at the level where we want to be in the long-term future.
It’s certainly a marquee signing that will get Villa fans excited, but it’s important now that we get Coutinho fully fit and keep him healthy, which in turn will hopefully see him play significant minutes in the coming months and provide a pivotal contribution as we look to try and get into the European qualification spots.
Time will tell what it means for the likes of Anwar El Ghazi, Trezeguet, Bertrand Traore and some of our youngsters such as Carney Chukwuemeka, as after strengthening in that department with the arrival of Coutinho, that would suggest that they will further struggle to break into the side and get significant minutes.
In contrast, the arrival of Coutinho combined with the presence of Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins has the makings for an exciting and deadly attacking quartet, with both Jacob Ramsey and Danny Ings also fighting to get into Gerrard’s XI.
For Ramsey, being able to train alongside Coutinho and learn from him will also be a big positive that comes with this move, and so time will tell if it becomes a no-brainer for Villa to sign the Barcelona loanee on a permanent basis in the summer and if we’re in a strong enough position to do so.
For Coutinho, there is also the added motivation of rediscovering his best form to get into the Brazil squad for the World Cup later this year, but for now, Villa fans can enjoy what has to be considered one of the biggest statement signings for the club in some time.