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Philippe Coutinho: A €160 Million Benched Player?

Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Philippe Coutinho signed for Barcelona in January 2018, reportedly for €160 million (including add-ons), making it the third most expensive Association football transfer.

A lot of expectations were riding on Coutinho as he was about to take up all the pressure on his shoulders and a crucial void left by Iniesta and Neymar. Coutinho played a high number of minutes right from the start as Dembele was still struggling because of his injury. Last season, Coutinho scored a splendid 10 goals along with 5 assists in 22 games.

However, this season, he has dunked his performance, scoring only 8 goals in 38 competitive games. Ernesto Valverde gave him enough opportunities but he was not able to stamp his authority whenever he played.

Playing almost regularly for his side, he didn’t see himself in the starting line-ups because of his lack of goals and assists. He was made to play in two different positions but still couldn’t make himself comfortable. However, the answer to the question still remains up in the air: is he better-suited as a midfielder or as a winger?

Up next Coutinho as a midfielder 

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