One year after a landmark £105 million move to Barcelona from Liverpool, Philippe Coutinho has not had the easiest time at Camp Nou. Exit rumours have already begun to pick up steam, with Chelsea (of course) listed as one of the clubs monitoring his ongoing “nightmare” in Spain.
INDEPENDENT Chelsea transfer news: Philippe Coutinho being monitored as potential Eden Hazard replacement The Brazilian's big-money move to La Liga hasn't worked out https://t.co/dqJJJEEHfS— Chelsea FC RSS Feeds (@CFCrss) February 6, 2019
Although living up to such a steep transfer fee would be a tall task for anyone, Coutinho is having a particularly tough time. Featuring mostly as a left winger, with only a few appearances at his preferred position of central attacking midfielder, Coutinho has only scored 4 goals and assisted 2 more in 20 La Liga appearances. In fact, he has not scored since Barça’s 5-1 thrashing of Real Madrid in October last year, 642 minutes of playing time ago.
Luckily for us, Barcelona’s intend to keep the faith in Coutinho. They invested a lot of resources in him and even though he is not providing the same impact of players who once occupied his position, they want to believe he will come good sometime.
“Are we going to consider the sale of Coutinho? No.”
“It’s a club bet. He plays differently, he knows how we play, we do not want to sell Coutinho.”
-Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona president; Source: COPE via Independent
Coutinho however is not so sure about his situation. He must be well aware that Barcelona “rejects” still have a good reach in the market, and he will not rule out any possibility.
“Nobody knows what will happen in the future. All I have in my head right now is to work hard.”
-Philippe Coutinho; Source: beIN Sports via Independent
It is completely understandable if Chelsea are already preparing themselves for Hazard’s departure. But then, Coutinho should not be the answer. Unlike other players who played at Barcelona and did not quite work out as intendend, such as Cesc Fàbregas or Alexis Sánchez, Coutinho has not been able to produce the numbers in front of the goal to justify the kind of massive investment he would require for Chelsea to bring him back to England.
Liverpool, who were enamoured with him for so many years, are said to be out of the race. We should follow their lead.