Philippe Coutinho has a month to convince Xavi that he can be a part of his Barcelona according to Diario Sport. The Brazilian won and scored a penalty during the Blaugrana’s 3-1 defeat of Villarreal at La Ceramica on Saturday evening, playing with a confidence and conviction we’ve rarely seen from him recently.
Coutinho joined Barcelona in January of 2018 from Liverpool, but has struggled to recreate the form he displayed at Anfield that earned him his big-money move in the first place. But Xavi’s return to Camp Nou represents a new beginning, and Coutinho looked full of beans at the weekend. He even attempted a flair-filled overhead kick that very nearly came off late in the game.
Coutinho needs to decide whether he wants to dig in and make it at Barcelona or become a sacrificial lamb and leave the club in order to lighten a bloated wage bill. Barcelona play five key games between now and the opening of the January market – Real Betis, Bayern Munich, Osasuna, Elche and Sevilla. Each will be key if Coutinho wants to stay into 2022.