The tenure of Philippe Coutinho at Barcelona has not gone as expected. Neither the club, nor the player or the fans expected things to be like this when FC Barcelona signed the Brazil international, and former Liverpool star, for a nine-figure transfer fee during January 2018.
Even though Coutinho arrived at Camp Nou as an up-and-coming star that was going to replace Neymar and eventually form a deadly attacking society with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, the reality couldn’t be further from that. Coutinho has struggled to settle, and he lost his starting spot to Ousmane Dembele.
In fact, Coutinho has been limited to substitute appearances in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. In fact, Barca fans jeered against him during the club’s 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano this past Saturday. With that scenario, and the local media already calling him a “bust” and claiming for his departure, Coutinho must be wise on his next move. He can choose to stay at the Camp Nou, but he shouldn’t rule out leaving the club.
Going somewhere else this next summer doesn’t sound bad at all. Coutinho is one of those players that need to feel the manager’s trust in order to get into his best shape – it might sound odd, but it happens constantly with South American players. He had that trust at Liverpool, and he was a Top 10 world player with the Anfield side before joining Los Blaugranas. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be the worst thing if he decides to leave for greener pastures.
Which teams could make a move for Coutinho?
One option could be Manchester United. Reports in England this Sunday indicated that Coutinho himself has contacted several Manchester United players, and that he’s looking to force his way to join the side. PSG have been long admirers of him as well, and the Ligue 1 giants shouldn’t be ruled out in any potential transfer for a superstar. Especially considering their disastrous Champions League campaign this season.
His destination remains unknown for now. And if we are being specific, Coutinho himself hasn’t even decided his future. But one thing is certain. He might be good enough to play for Barcelona, but he’s far away from his best version. And sometimes you need to take one step back in order to take two steps forward.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be the worst thing if Coutinho leaves Barca. Based on how things have happened over the course of this current term, he might be better suited to play elsewhere where the pressure and the animosity isn’t as high as it is at Camp Nou right now.