Leicester City interested in Philippe Coutinho
As per a report by Spanish publication Sport.es (h/t Leicestershire Live), Leicester City are linked with Philippe Coutinho again. The Foxes, along with Arsenal and Tottenham, were linked with the Brazilian playmaker last summer. However, no deal formalized as he stayed at Camp Nou.
But it seems like Leicester are linked with him again, but so are the Gunners as well as the Lilywhites. Coutinho could be a welcome addition for any Premier League side that he joins, and here we see why the midfielder could turn out to be a wise coup by Brendan Rodgers.
Leicester could use Coutinho
The Foxes are not short of depth in their team when it comes to central midfielders. However, Brendan Rodgers, as he showed this season, likes to play with different formations. And Youri Tielemans, Dennis Praet, and Wilfred Ndidi make for a decent roster in the midfield.
They are complemented by Hamza Choudhury. But he is not an established player who is trusted enough to be given a string of starts yet, as evident by his appearances this season. But this is where things get tricky. James Maddison is the only natural No.10 at the club.
And the Englishman, according to Fichajes (h/t The Mirror), was linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium as recently as last month. Moreover, Youri Tielemans, a dependable player in the middle of the park who did not miss a single game in the league this season, is heavily linked with Liverpool.
This leaves Brendan Rodgers wanting for players to fill in the void in case either of them leave. Even if they don’t, the Foxes would know that activity in the summer transfer window could be an important factor in their desire to be a top 4 club in England. And that is where Philippe Coutinho could come in.
Not just central midfield, but Coutinho can play as a No.10 where he can either replace or compete with Maddison for starts. Also, the 29-year-old has played on the left flank for the majority of his career – another position Leicester are short of numbers, with the injured Harvey Barnes their only natural left-sided midfielder.
Coutinho has Premier League experience
Apart from his versatility as well as the gaps he could fill in Leicester’s squad, there is another upside of getting Coutinho in at Leicester. He has ample experience in the Premier League, where he played for nearly 5 years before being sold to Barcelona in 2018 for a £142million fee.
And it was Leicester’s current manager, Brendan Rodgers, who was the manager of Liverpool when the former Inter Milan playmaker was signed at Anfield. Hence, the Northern Irishman would know a thing or two about Coutinho, having worked with him for a couple of years at Liverpool.
Speaking on The Beautiful Game Podcast (h/t The Mirror) last year, Rodgers went on to say that Coutinho silenced doubters who think he cannot fit in the Premier League and that he’d show the world his quality if comes back to England.
“Most people would have probably looked at him and thought he’s not for the Premier League. But what a talent. He intimidates people when he has the ball with his quality… his boy is top, and if he comes back to the league he will show that he’s world-class.”
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Rodgers even mentioned in that interview how Chelsea, when he was at Stamford Bridge, wanted to bring him in but failed. So it is clear that Rodgers admires him.