Arsenal chase out-of-favour 27-year-old Barcelona star – How useful an addition could he be?


Why Philippe Coutinho could add more creativity upfront for Arsenal

According to The Sun, Arsenal have been offered a chance to sign Barcelona’s out-of-favour playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian attacking midfielder is currently on a season-long loan spell at German side Bayern Munich. However, after failing to make an impact in the Bundesliga, the Bavarian giants have now stated that they have no interest in making his move permanent.

Philippe Coutinho (R) in action against Schalke in the Bundesliga (Getty Images)
Philippe Coutinho (right) in action against Schalke in the Bundesliga. (Getty Images)

Coutinho, a former Liverpool player, had moved to Barcelona in January 2018 for a huge sum of £142million after his eye-catching displays with the Merseyside club. The 27-year-old, however, did not live up to his expectations at Camp Nou, that saw him being sent to Germany on loan in search of more game time at the beginning of this season.

Despite scoring five goals and providing two assists from 34 league appearances for the Catalan giants, Coutinho failed to impress then-boss Ernesto Valverde. With the likes of star midfielders such as Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic already in the side, Coutinho found it extremely difficult to break into the first-team line-up.

Moreover, with the Spanish giants roping in young Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong last summer, the Brazilian’s prospects of making a first-team name now look increasingly limited.

Philippe Coutinho has failed to impress at Barcelona despite moving to the club in January 2018.
Philippe Coutinho has failed to impress at Barcelona despite moving to the club in January 2018. (Getty Images)

This has seen the midfielder fall down the pecking order at Camp Nou, with the club now hell-bent on selling him. Meanwhile, Coutinho’s situation has opened the doors for a host of Premier League clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, and few others, who are keen on landing him.

In the most recent turn of events, Arsenal have also joined the race as they are in search of a creative playmaker, who could improve their side’s performance next season. The Gunners have not had the best of campaigns this season as they sit a lowly 9th in the league, scoring just 40 goals from 28 league outings.

No other side other than newcomers Sheffield United (30) and Burnley (34) have a worse attacking record than them among the top-10 sides in the Premier League. Arsenal this season have entirely relied upon the services of their talismanic striker and skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. With 17 league goals to his name, he is one of the top goalscorers in the league this season.

Mikel Arteta shakes hands with his Arsenal players. (Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta shakes hands with his Arsenal players. (Getty Images)

However, except for him none of the side’s players have impressed and lack of creativity in attack is one of the main reasons for their downfall this season. Summer signing Nicolas Pepe remains the side’s highest assist provider in the league with six assists to his name.

Meanwhile, veteran playmaker Mesut Ozil has already started showing signs of ageing having managed just two league assists so far. The 2014 German World Cup winner clearly looks a mere shadow of his former self.

Also, with Dani Ceballos only on loan at the Emirates, Arsenal are in dire need of an established midfielder in their ranks.

Philippe Coutinho during his time at Liverpool (Getty Images)
Philippe Coutinho was exceptional during his time at Liverpool. (Getty Images)

Coutinho, on the other hand, would be a perfect fit at Arsenal as he could once again revive his career under Arteta if a deal happens. A proven performer in the Premier League, with 54 goals and 45 assists under his belt for the Reds, there is no questioning his talent.

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Unlike in Barcelona and Bayern which is filled with star talents, Coutinho will not be under any pressure at Arsenal, who are in dire need of an established playmaker. Known for his goal-scoring and passing skills, Coutinho can add more creativity upfront to a Gunners side that totally lacks it at the moment. Thus, he would be a good signing for the North London side without any doubt.