Former Bayern Munich striker and Brazil international Giovane Elber believes Philippe Coutinho is a ‘great player’ but he ‘lacks some aggression’ and is playing with no confidence.
Elber netted a devastating 139 goals across six years in Bavaria while also grabbing seven goals in 15 international appearances, meaning he is one of the individuals with the most interest in Coutinho’s progress.
Bayern– where Coutinho is on loan from Barcelona – have an option to buy the Brazil international for €120m at the end of the campaign but multiple reports suggest this will not be exercised.
Barcelona are said to be keen on selling the former Liverpool star this year to raise vital funds, while the player is said to have little interest in returning to Inter or joining Paris Saint-Germain and instead is keen on a move to England.
The Brazilian scored 21 goals in 76 outings for Barcelona after moving in a club record €160m fee from Liverpool in January 2018 but consistently flattered to deceive.
“When Philippe arrived at Bayern, everybody hoped that we would see the same Coutinho from Liverpool, where he had great games, but he came after a season at Barcelona where things weren’t good for him. I think maybe that stuck in his head,” Elber told Goal.com.
“I think he’s a person who gets shaken very easily when things aren’t going so well. He’s not a person who thinks, ‘I’m Philippe Coutinho and I’m going to fix this.’
“It’s different from one person to another but, during my time, we had some players – Roque Santa Cruz, the Paraguayan, for example – who were like this.
“There are people who think ‘I’m going to nail this game’ and there are others that get shaken. I think Coutinho lacks some aggression. It’s a shame because he’s a great player.
“When he gets the ball, everybody starts thinking something extraordinary is going to happen, but he can’t expect that he’ll do that every time he gets the ball.
“Sometimes, you have to make an easy pass, do the basics, before trying dribbles, or a nutmeg.
“But, in the beginning, you have to have more focus on the team, try to make fewer mistakes and gain confidence. I think he lacks confidence sometimes.”