Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho joined Aston Villa on loan in January for more playing time. He was reunited with former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard, who is currently Villans’ team coach.
Gerrard has been full of praise for the Brazilian midfielder since his transfer in January. The midfielder has scored three goals and made three assists in seven appearances for Villa in the Premier League so far.
He scored a goal and provided an assist in their 4-0 thrashing of Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
Speaking after the match (as quoted by Daily Mail), Gerrard expressed his admiration for his former teammate.
The former England international said:
“Phil was successful at Barcelona but he also had difficult times. He got to a stage where he needed a change of scenery and a different movie. We want to be that movie for him because if we want to get to where we want to be, we have to build it around talent like Phil because at his best he’s a top player.”
Gerrard also indirectly hinted at the definitive purchase of Coutinho at the end of the season. He said:
“All good teams have game changers that the opponent really cares about before a ball is kicked. Phil has that status and he gives his teammates confidence.”
“Our forwards Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings want him by their side because he delivers on the big stage. I don’t control transfer fees or wages. All I can do is give my opinion to ( sporting director) Johan Lange, (general manager) Christian Purslow and the owners. They are watching the games and will make the final decision. Phil has shown what he is capable of so far.”
Can Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa buy Philipe Coutinho next season?
There’s no doubt that the Aston Villa manager will want Coutinho at Villa next season. However, it is not as easy as it seems due to the huge sums involved.
The Brazilian’s salary is said to be £250,000 a week. It’s even higher for a club like Barcelona, let alone Villa. Moreover, he still has one year left on his contract with the Spanish club. Therefore, it could cost around £33m if Gerrard and co. want to buy it this summer.
However, if he continues to play like this, the Aston Villa board will surely be tempted to splash the cash.