Chelsea Opinion: Blues signing Philippe Coutinho will be a masterstroke
According to a recent report from TeleFoot, Chelsea are lining up an audacious summer move for Barcelona’s Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho, as they look to bring in a player of enough calibre to replace their mercurial Belgian talent, Eden Hazard.
It has been suggested that Chelsea are looking at Coutinho as well as Lille winger Nicolas Pepe as potential ready-replacements for the Belgian, who they are now resigned to losing at the end of the season.
Both of these players have proven over the years that they have the potential to perform for one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Coutinho is a former Liverpool star, who even featured for Brazil at the FIFA World Cup in Russia. He was one of the Reds’ most dangerous players during his spell at Anfield and the high-scoring partnership that he formed with the Liverpool front-line is the stuff of Premier League legend.
Since making the switch to Barcelona though, the Brazilian hasn’t enjoyed nearly as much game time as he would’ve hoped for. While the process of playing for a club like Barcelona would certainly be a rewarding experience, there’s no substitute for first-team football.
Although his figures read 32 league appearances, this doesn’t tell the full story as he’s only started in about 60% of these matches. His 5 goals and 2 assists could be interpreted as a decent return for a player spending his first year in Catalonia but the Barcelona fans always expect more from their star players.
His saving grace this season could be the fact that he has been a vital player for them in the Champions League, scoring 3 and assisting 3 from his 10 games in Europe. He’s also scored 3 in 6 appearances for the Catalan giants in the Spanish Copa Del Rey.
Since making his debut for the Brazilian national side all the way back in 2010, the 26-year-old has notched up 47 caps for his country – a period during which he scored 13 goals as well. Considering that he still has a massive future ahead of him, regular first-team football must be the top criteria on his list.
If a club like Chelsea
Also, with Eden Hazard now poised to join Real Madrid in the summer at the end of a long-drawn transfer saga, this could be the ideal time.
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By making the switch to southwest London, Coutinho would effectively be guaranteed a lot more first-team football, considering that Hazard is mostly on his way out of the club.
Also, the fact that he is able to play anywhere across the front-line makes him a massive prospect for the Blues and one that Maurizio Sarri wouldn’t want to pass up on.
9 most expensive internationally uncapped players in football right now
9 most expensive internationally uncapped players in football currently
We all know that money flows very easily in football nowadays and the involvement of multi-million-pound investors has made it a walk in the park for European clubs to splash the cash.
That, however, doesn’t mean that they have got all the money in the world because the Chinese clubs too have a lot of easy cash at their disposal and often manage to snap up promising prospects with their financial prowess.
As a matter of fact, the clubs hardly take into account the international recognition of the players but it is their performances in the club circuit that matter the most.
As evident from some of the transfers these days, it is true that big-money moves don’t always depend on whether or not players have been capped internationally by their respective nations. The international status is no longer considered as a big asset in the CV of any footballer.
Keeping that in mind, let us take a look at some of the most expensive internationally uncapped footballers in the world.
Note: Those who have gained international status following their big-money moves, such as Ederson Moraes, Richarlison, Arthur and so on, are not taken into consideration. The list only includes those who are yet to be capped by their nations at the senior level.
1. Aymeric Laporte – £57 million
Man City splashed out a then club-record fee of £57million to bring in French centre-back Aymeric Laporte from La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao in January 2018.
The technically-gifted defender proved himself to be a tailor-made fit for Pep Guardiola’s system and quickly nailed down a regular starting role at the Etihad.
Laporte’s consistently impressive performances have led to him being regarded as one of the best young centre-backs in the Premier League. However, as surprising as it might sound, the left-footed defender is yet to earn a senior cap for the France national team.
The 25-year-old has already won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and League Cup with Man City but that apparently hasn’t been enough to impress Didier Deschamps.
2. Aaron Wan-Bissaka – £50million
Currently an England U-21 international, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was a hot property this summer and Man United seemingly stole a march over their Premier League rivals by forking out £50million to sign the right-back from Crystal Palace.
His impressive performances for the Eagles last season, coupled with his obvious talent and massive potential, kind of justifies that price tag but England have the likes of Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold currently vying for that right-back role.
Gareth Southgate, though, is likely to have Wan-Bissaka on his radar for the near future, with a view to having him cap-tied for England. Just to remind the fans, he is still eligible to represent DR Congo owing to his African heritage.
3. Malcom – £36.5million
The former Corinthians winger racked up 23 goals and 16 assists in 96 appearances for Bordeaux in all competitions over the course of three seasons before Barcelona successfully signed the burgeoning Brazilian talent in the summer of 2018.
The £36.5million price tag looked quite outrageous when the move materialized and the left-footed creative winger struggled to nail down a regular starting spot in Barcelona’s star-studded first team last season.
A part of the Brazil U-20 side that finished as runners-up at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Malcom has been called up by senior international coach Tite on a couple of occasions, although he is still awaiting his first cap.
4. Vinicius Junior- £38.7million
One of the most talented Brazilian exports to have gatecrashed the Spanish market in recent times, Vinicius Junior shot to prominence with Flamengo before earning a £38.7million move to Real Madrid last summer.
It is a no-brainer that he arrived at the Bernabeu as a future prospect and only played a bit-part role in the first-team last season, although he still managed to earn plenty of plaudits for his quick feet, razor-sharp anticipation, lightning pace, instant acceleration and mesmerizing dribbling skills to complement a deadly eye for key passes.
Vinicius was called up to the Brazil national team for the friendlies against Panama and the Czech Republic earlier this year but he had to withdraw due to an injury and currently remains uncapped at the senior international level.
5. Rodrygo Goes – €45million
Real Madrid made the headlines with the signing of highly-rated 18-year-old winger Rodrygo Goes from Brazilian club Santos last summer for €45m, although the teenage sensation continued his development with Santos this past season as a part of the agreement between the two clubs.
The electric left-winger has already represented Brazil at U-17 and U-20 levels but it doesn’t look likely that he would be getting a senior breakthrough any time soon given the intense competition for places in Brazil’s ranks.
6. Anthony Modeste – €35.7million
Anthony Modeste’s feat of 25 goals in 37 appearances for Cologne in the Bundesliga in the 2016-17 season propelled the club to the European front for the first time in 25 years and Chinese outfit Tianjin Quanjian splashed €35.7million to bring the Frenchman to the Far East.
However, he went AWOL after netting 16 goals in 29 appearances for the Chinese side and returned to Cologne.
The Bundesliga veteran is now 31 and the prospect of international football with France looks bleak.
7. Ayoze Perez- £30 million
Newcastle only spent £1.5million to bring Ayoze Perez from Spanish second-tier side Tenerife back in 2014 but the Magpies made an eye-watering profit when Leicester City forked out £30million to sign the playmaking forward this summer.
Perez scored 48 goals in 195 appearances over the course of five seasons at St.James’ Park and represented Spain a couple of times at the U-21 level, although he is yet to receive a senior international cap.
8. James Maddison – £24million
The playmaker established himself as one of the breakout stars in the Premier League in the 2018-19 season following his move to the King Power Stadium from Norwich City last summer.
The 21-year-old racked up an impressive 7 goals and 7 assists in the league this past season for Leicester City and proved himself to be worth every penny of the £24million that the Foxes had spent to bring him to the club.
Maddison’s impressive performances earned him a senior England call-up for the UEFA Nations League fixture against Croatia last year but he is yet to make his debut for the Three Lions. Gareth Southgate will probably be having him on his radar for Euro 2020, nevertheless.
9. Issa Diop – £22million
West Ham spent £22million to bring the towering French centre-back to East London from Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse last summer and he went on to have a massive impact at the London Stadium under Manuel Pellegrini in the Premier League this past season.
Diop has represented France at all youth levels from U-16 to U-21, although he still remains eligible to represent Senegal through his father, and Morocco through his mother’s heritage.
Still only 22, the 6ft 4in giant does look like a bright international prospect for all three aforementioned nations.
Everton signing this 22-year-old Brazilian to share the goalscoring burden with Richarlison would make them unstoppable – Agreed?
Everton Opinion: Why Malcom could be a smash hit at Goodison Park?
According to a report from the Sport, Everton are interested in Barcelona outcast Malcom.
The Brazilian, 22, joined Barcelona from Bordeaux last summer but endured a torrid debut season at Nou Camp. He played only 24 times across all competitions, scoring four goals.
The report claims Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde never wanted to sign Malcom last summer. Valverde’s lack of trust in the nippy wide-man makes it apparent and now Everton, who have a good rapport with the Barcelona hierarchy after doing three deals last summer, want to bring the Brazilian to the Goodison Park.
The Toffees are aiming to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season. Marco Silva had a decent debut season at Goodison Park and will look to build on that. He needs to invest smartly in the transfer market and get the players that fit his style of play. Several departures are also expected this summer, with Theo Walcott likely to be among the players to be offloaded, as per the Daily Star.
Walcott has failed to live up to the expectations at Goodison Park following his switch from Arsenal in January 2018. He scored just five goals in 37 appearances this past term despite being heavily backed by the manager. But the former England international hasn’t done anything to improve the Toffees’ attack and must be shipped out of the club.
And Silva would be wise to replace the out of sorts Walcott with Malcom.
Malcom is one of the brightest young talents in Europe but has hit a brick wall in terms of his development at Barcelona. The winger needs to play week in week out in order to continue his development and at Everton, he could get that chance.
The Brazilian is predominantly a right winger but is capable of playing anywhere in attack. An expert dribbler, Malcom uses his pace and agility to take on defenders and beat them. He is very quick and destructive in the final third, capable of winning games single-handedly on his day.
The former Bordeaux ace would relish the chance to form a deadly attack with his Brazilian compatriots Richarlison and Bernard and he could prove a shrewd addition for the Toffees. Malcom would represent an instant upgrade on Walcott, whilst becoming a regular at Everton for years to come.
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Also, the Brazilian winger is still only 22, which surely makes him an enticing prospect for director of football Marcel Brands, who would prefer to sign younger players with high sell-on value.
Silva needs a quality wide player to improve Everton’s attack. Malcom is arguably tailor-made for Premier League and his burst of acceleration could potentially make him a valuable weapon for Silva’s Toffees.
Goodbye Barcelona? – This tricky 26-year-old would be best served joining any of these 2 top Premier League clubs instead
Premier League Opinion: 2 ideal PL destinations for Philippe Coutinho
According to a recent report by Metro, Barcelona’s current record signing Philippe Coutinho is being linked with a possible move away from the Nou Camp this summer after spending just a year and a half at his dream club.
Since the move to Catalonia, the Brazilian has struggled to replicate the form he displayed while in Merseyside and his season has been full of difficult moments.
He had to deal with a lot of criticism from his own fans along the course of the campaign and his first full season as a Barcelona player didn’t show him in the best light. His form has dipped heavily and he’s found it very difficult to break into the La Liga line-up. Opportunities have been limited and he seems to have gotten used to coming off the bench at some point.
He hasn’t shown the touch or finesse he displayed in the red shirt at Anfield and his finishing from outside the box has let him down heavily as well. His numbers this season read just 5 goals and 2 assists from 34 league appearances and that’s the sign of a player who could use a move away to try and freshen things up a bit.
While a return to Liverpool would be a preferred move for the Brazilian, the Reds haven’t really looked keen on re-signing a player who forced his way out of the club less than 2 years ago. His Premier League experience, added to the fact that he excels in big games, means that a move back to English soil would aid the 26-year-old’s future ambitions as well.
It has been suggested that both Chelsea and Manchester United United have registered their interest in the former Liverpool man’s signature this summer. While a massive fee is sure to be involved, both of the European giants will be eager to bolster their squad by bringing a proven Premier League playmaker back to England.
Here’s how he would fare at these 2 PL clubs:
With the future of Eden Hazard still very much up in the air, the Blues will be looking to bring in as many reinforcements as possible in the summer.
Despite the impending transfer ban, the Blues have expressed their interest in a lot of players and Coutinho seems to be one of the priorities. His movement and overall play would suit the Blues’ style, making this a match made in heaven.
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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will probably have to work really hard to try and integrate a technical player like Philippe Coutinho into what is a fairly raw squad.
Although Coutinho doesn’t necessarily fit into United’s system either, he certainly brings a lot of quality in the middle of the park and that bit of quality could be exactly what United have been lacking.
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