Manager Steven Gerrard made his first significant acquisition during his tenure as Aston Villa manager. He was able to lure Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho back to England on loan from Barcelona.
But what will Gerrard and the Villa fans expect to see from him?

Photo: Getty Images

Gerrard likes to form his team up in a 4-3-2-1 or 4-3-3 formation, where the wingers cut in and become playmakers in attacking midfield. This allows the team to have a numerical advantage both in the middle of the field and on the flanks, where his fullbacks are making a lot of attacking runs. In their last game against Brentford, Bertrand Traore and Emiliano Buendia occupied these roles.

In the best circumstances, Leon Bailey would replace Traore, and Villa would have two great wingers causing trouble for the opposition.

Coutinho could play there in the absence of Bailey, but his best positions are in the middle of the pitch, where he can be the primary ballcarrier and playmaker of the team. I would envision Coutinho to become a part of the middle three and making dribbles from there, making the formation a 4-2-3-1 in effect.

Coutinho is a huge talent to the Premier League. He enjoyed a great five-and-a-half-year span in Liverpool. He scored 50 goals in 188 appearances, having the second-highest transfer fee ever in 2018 when Barcelona paid €160 million to Liverpool. His career has never taken off there, but he previously had a very successful loan spell at Bayern Munchen, being a big part of their Champions League win in 2020.

Interestingly, because Coutinho won the Champions League with Bayern, a clause was enacted in the transfer between Liverpool and Barcelona, making Barcelona pay to Liverpool for Bayern Munchen to win the Champions League. Confusing? Definitely.


The addition of Coutinho will be huge for the Villa side in their chase of a top-10 finish. The departure of hometown hero Jack Grealish left a huge hole in the Villa side, which hasn’t been filled thus far.
Steven Gerrard can only hope that his former teammate can fill those shoes.

Featured Image: Getty Images
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