After enduring a difficult time in Barcelona, Coutinho’s career has received a lifeline with a loan move to Aston Villa this January. The Villains were interested in signing Coutinho in a loan deal with the option to buy him next summer.
How has Coutinho done so far?
Coutinho has been impressive for Aston Villa, in the Premier League thus far. In his second stint in England, Coutinho has managed to notch up an impressive tally of three goals and three assists from seven appearances. Gerard has given Coutinho the freedom to roam freely on the pitch and the Brazilian can be seen getting back to his best, slowly.
Gerrard tells Villa to sign him on a permanent basis
Coutinho’s loan spell at Aston Villa will expire at the end of this season but the former Premier League champions have the chance to trigger the €40 million buy option. Gerrard is convinced that the Brazilian can deliver in the big stages and on his day, he is a ‘high-level’ player. That said, the former Liverpool legendary midfielder also disclosed that whether or not Villa signs Coutinho on a permanent basis, is out of his hands.
Steven Gerrard: “We want to be that movie for him because if we want to get to where we want to be, we need to build it around talents like Phil because at his best he is a high-level player.
“All good teams have game-changers who the opposition are really concerned about before a ball is kicked. Phil has that status and he is giving belief to his teammates.
“Our strikers Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings want him alongside them because he delivers on the big stage.
All I can do is give my opinion to (sporting director) Johan Lange, (chief executive) Christian Purslow, and the owners. They are watching the games and they will make the final decision. Phil has shown what he is capable of so far.”
Wolves interested in signing Riqui Puig
Riqui Puig has fallen down the pecking order at Barcelona in the last two years. The Spaniard though is still one of the most talented midfielders on the planet but with the options that Xavi has at his disposal, it is almost impossible for him to secure a place in the XI from here. Currently, Gavi, Nico, Frenkie, and Pedri are ahead of him in the pecking order. Moreover, with the club looking to introduce their new signing Pablo Torre into the first-team dynamics next term, Puig’s future at the club has hit a dark cloud.
The 22-year-old needs time to prove himself once again and the best option for him would be to move out on a potential loan deal. The player is said to be keen on succeeding at Barca and thus a permanent move for him looks unlikely at this stage.
Now, as per Diario Sport, Wolves have turned towards Barca for Puig. The Wanderers were briefly interested in signing the 22-year-old last summer but now their pursuit of the La Masia product seems to have gathered pace.
Wolves and Barca have shared a good relationship off late with Adama joining the Los Cules in the winter window and Trincao joining Wolves last summer. With them not keen on buying Trincao, and with Barca looking to sign Traore on a permanent deal, Wolves could look to incorporate Puig into the deal.
It remains to be seen if the player is ready to move on from the club of his dreams on a permanent basis but one thing is clear; he needs to play. The only way of potentially relaunching his career at Camp Nou is by getting some minutes under his belt and with Wolves identifying him as a ‘very interesting talent’, the ball is in the player’s court.
A medical student with an avid interest for the game.