Why Arsenal signing Philippe Coutinho would be a fantastic move
According to Sport (h/t Daily Star), Arsenal are still mulling over the possibility of bringing Philippe Coutinho to the Emirates. The club had primary targets namely Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey but with time running out and the club needing an attacking midfielder, Coutinho has re-emerged as an option.
Philippe Coutinho is a 28-year-old Brazilian midfielder/winger who plays for FC Barcelona. He started his youth career at Vasco Da Gama in 1999. While he was still in the youth team, Inter Milan signed him but loaned him back to Vasco for two years due to age regulations.
He played a total of 45 games in those two seasons before departing for Inter. With some struggles in the first season, Coutinho was loaned out to Espanyol in 2011. He was reintegrated into the squad and fared much better. He then moved to Liverpool.
Coutinho played some of his finest football at Liverpool. His goals were a thing of beauty. In 201 games for the Reds, Coutinho scored 54 goals and assisted another 45 (source – Transfermarkt).
A rather unceremonious transfer followed to Barcelona in 2018. He was signed for a record sum. Although he did impress in the first 6 months, his form tailed off spectacularly in the following season. Bayern Munich offered him a way out, albeit on loan, in 2019.
It turned out to be a fantastic move for the Brazilian as he played a good part in Bayern’s treble-winning season. He is currently back at Barcelona but his future is yet to be sorted. Coutinho is an important part of the Brazil team as well, with 61 appearances and 17 goals to date.
Do Arsenal need him?
Gone are the days when Mesut Ozil used to be the creator in chief for the Gunners. The German has been out of the first-team picture for a while now and doesn’t look like he will be brought back anytime soon.
This leaves Arsenal with no natural No.10 or an attacking midfielder. Coutinho is fresh off a treble-winning campaign, it makes sense for the Gunners to go for him.
His stock may have gone down a bit since his colossal transfer to Barca but the fact remains that Coutinho is a genuinely talented player who still has good playmaking qualities.
It may look like Arsenal’s goalscoring woes are sorted but they could still do with a midfielder who can chip in with goals and ease the burden on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.