Barcelona have decided to keep Philippe Coutinho at Camp Nou according to Marca. Unable to find a new home for the Brazilian due to his high salary, they’ve decided to retain his services and hope that he seizes his second chance with both hands. Coutinho hasn’t shone at Barcelona in the way he did at Liverpool, but the hope is he’ll be able to recover something close to his true level.
Lionel Messi is obviously no longer at the football club, meaning space has been made for creative talents in Coutinho’s mould. It’s always been the front office that’s been seeking to move on the carioca; Ronald Koeman, for his part, is a big fan of him and always has been. He began last season as a starter only for injury, plus the emergence of Pedri, to derail his progress.
The midfield at Camp Nou practically picks itself; Sergio Busquets will sit as the sole pivot with Pedri and Frenkie de Jong either side of him. A wide position, however, could prove a hospitable position. Ansu Fati, Sergio Aguero and Ousmane Dembele are all out injured, so Coutinho’s principal rival for that starting berth beside Memphis Depay and Antoine Griezmann is Martin Braithwaite, who’s opened the campaign with a brace. Time will tell if the Brazilian’s up for the challenge.