After proving that he is nowhere near the level that brought him from Liverpool, it is time for Barcelona to consider selling Philippe Coutinho.
Right after Neymar left in a shocking manner with the intention to become the best player in the world over Lionel Messi, Barcelona completely panicked and thought they were signing a proper replacement in Brazilian Philippe Coutinho.
Quite the talented midfielder who was fresh out of Jürgen Klopp’s squad and looking very promising, this midfielder was soon taken out of that comparison to his compatriot because he didn’t really play at the same level that Neymar always demonstrated in the Catalan club.
But this shift in perspective about his characteristics brought another dangerous comparison, as the media started comparing him to Andres Iniesta, who is even more challenging to a player that hasn’t really proven anything throughout his career prior to FC Barcelona.
The first year wasn’t all that bad, as Coutinho did deliver good numbers and even won a historic La Liga trophy with the club but failed to deliver on the international stage when Barcelona was eliminated by AS Roma in the Champions League and Philippe didn’t have a chance to even play due to his pat at Liverpool on this competition that same season.
Philippe Coutinho atendiendo a Gerard Piqué en el último entrenamiento del FC Barcelona. Una pasada. pic.twitter.com/gpRb85E5vY
— Dosis Futbolera (@Dosis_Futbolera) January 10, 2019
The main objective for Coutinho was going to be this season, the first full one he would have with the Catalan club after he wasn’t able to make his transfer until January 2018 during the winter transfer window due to Jürgen Klopp’s tough negotiations with the Catalan club.
When the transfer was finally made, Barcelona paid a staggering €160 million for a player with practically no accolades and instantly transformed him into the second most expensive footballer in history; only behind Neymar.
The bar was set too high for Coutinho in the first place, the pressure was too great for him to handle and this season was proof that he isn’t ready for a challenge of this magnitude.
As the current season began, things appeared to go smoothly for him and he delivered a few good performances that brought great reactions from everybody but he suddenly dropped his level and has been a constant occupant of Ernesto Valverde’s bench for the last three months at least.
The good performances from Messi, Suarez, and “undisciplined” Dembele might be the reason Coutinho hasn’t been able to live up to the standards that the club requires from him.
But the biggest problem he has is that price-tag, which weighs on his back like a truckload of bricks.
— RAKITICISMO (@andoniiivm) January 10, 2019
Now that the second half of the season has begun, FC Barcelona is actively looking to possibly get rid of the player in order to bring Neymar back to the club by selling him to the highest bidder.
There is a slight chance that Liverpool might want the Brazilian player back, but the chances are very slim and the Catalan club is even looking towards Italy for the possibility of Juventus maybe trying to come after him during the next transfer window.
Manager Ernesto Valverde knows that his squad simply can’t afford to have a €160 million player warming the bench, they need to do something about his situation as he has transformed from an active to a passive overnight in economic terms.
The latest proof that the club is not happy with Philippe Coutinho’s level of performance is the statement that assistant manager Jon Aspiazu made via Mundo Deportivo.
“Philippe Coutinho is nowhere near the level of performance he had last year and Dembele has surpassed him completely during this season. We really hope he can improve because he is a very important payer for us,” said the assistand manager about Coutinho’s situation.
— Mundo Deportivo (@mundodeportivo) January 10, 2019
What do you think is the reason behind Philippe Coutinho’s dramatic level decrease in the last few months? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.