With Phillipe Coutinho smiling again in the Premier League, Barcelona are also delighted to see the growth of a midfielder in a form that will benefit the Camp Nou club if they continue.
The new Aston Villa boss, Steven Gerrard, excelled Coutinho, who has scored two goals and provided two assistants in three games, both of whom did very well as they played for Liverpool.
Barcelona are breaking the 29-year-old’s ability to continue this season for the rest of the season, as he will put it in a solid position when the summer transfer window opens.
Coutinho plays freely away from the Camp Nou. His loan spell at Bayern Munich saw him play 39 games, in which he scored 11 goals and 14 assists. However, Bayern Munich did not want to pay 120 million euros to sign the player on a permanent deal.
Under Gerrard, Coutinho plays to the best of his ability as he feels comfortable and respected, something he has never heard of in Barcelona.
“It was a vintage Philippe Coutinho tonight,” Gerrard said following the 3-3 draw with Aston Villa and Leeds.
“He gets closer when everyone is talking about him. Every time he [plays] he’ll get better, so it’s fun working with him.”
Coutinho outside Barcelona
Aston Villa have the option of buying Coutinho for 40 million euros, which Barcelona could be satisfied with as they look to end the Brazilian midfielder as one of the club’s highest-paid players.
In addition, Barcelona wants to prevent him from leaving for free if his contract expires in 2023, with Coutinho not part of Xavi Hernandez’s plans.
Although Coutinho has been given a lot of playing time since joining Barcelona in January 2018, it is clear he is unhappy and fans are once again doubting his arrival in Spain.
In three Aston Villa games, Coutinho has scored the same number of goals in 16 games against Barcelona.
He also failed to deliver in Barcelona and has created many opportunities, including two assistants, for Aston Villa. Numbers tell a story.