Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has confirmed that Philippe Coutinho missed the win over Everton due to injury and is expected to be sidelined for around a month.
It’s been a difficult season so far for the Brazilian playmaker, as he went 21 games across all competitions without contributing a goal or assist.
Coupled with an injury that he suffered prior to the World Cup which ruled him out of featuring in Qatar and in the early period after Emery took charge, it’s been a struggle for him for the most part after making such a positive start to life at Villa after initially arriving on loan from Barcelona.
READ MORE: Villa player ratings vs Everton: Watkins, Buendia decisive in crucial win
Coutinho enjoyed a big moment last weekend though with his goal against Arsenal, and the relief and delight was obvious in his celebration as it was hoped that it could be a catalyst for him to kick-start his campaign.
However, after he was absent from the matchday squad against Everton on Saturday, it has now been confirmed by Emery that the 30-year-old has suffered another injury setback, with a hamstring problem now expected to keep him out for around a month, as per the tweet below from the Express and Star’s Matt Maher.
Slight sour note to end the #avfc day at Goodison Park. Unai Emery expects Philippe Coutinho, absent from the squad today, to be out for around a month with a hamstring injury.
— matt maher (@mjmarr_star) February 25, 2023
It’s a bitterly disappointing blow for Coutinho, as he would no doubt have been desperate to build on his last outing and start to play an influential role for Emery between now and the end of the season.
Instead, he’ll now go through rehabilitation on his injury and try to return as soon as possible, as he continues to push to impress and cement his place in the Villa boss’s long-term plans.
In the short-term, it’s a setback for Villa as we’re down an important option in attack even if Coutinho had a limited role, and so it’s hoped that Emiliano Buendia can continue to play a big part while others step up and start to contribute to support Ollie Watkins and share the goalscoring and creativity between them.