Philippe Coutinho

Martin Dubravka
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Philippe Coutinho Correia

Current Club: Barcelona.

Previous Clubs: Liverpool, Inter Milan, Vasco da Gama.

Loan Clubs: Espanyol, Vasco da Gama.

International: Brazil 45 caps 13 goals.

Trophies Won: Spanish La Liga 2017/18. Spanish Cup 2017/18. Spanish Super Cup 2018/19, 2017/18. Italian Cup 2010/11. Italian Super Cup 2010/11. Under-20 World Champion 2011. Under-17 South American Championship 2009. Brazilian Serie B 2008/09.

After a slow start to his European career, it was beginning to look like Coutinho was another of those overhyped Brazilian youngsters who was all flash with no substance. Loan spells away from Inter saw him flatter to deceive and his career was beginning to look like a slide into obscurity beckoned when Liverpool took a chance on him. Liverpool were in a similar period to his career, struggling to re-establish themselves as a force and in need of something to kick start them.

Coutinho joined and made an immediate positive impression, though he was still lacking in end product initially, he began to add goals to his game and became established as the central figure in the Liverpool team, central enough to become a monster signing for Barcelona. There things have not yet worked out as he would have hoped as he struggles to hold down a regular starting berth in the side.

The problem is that Coutinho is lacking in the right attributes to be a powerhouse in any position other than the one a certain Lionel Messi occupies. In fact he is very much like a much worse right footed version of Messi. Much worse. He can dribble, but does not have the close control and acceleration of the Argentinian.

He can score goals from all over the park, but lacks the accuracy and consistency in his finishing to produce the goods regularly. Coutinho's passing range is very good, he has decent vision, but very rarely uses it as he too often has his head down running with the ball looking to create a shooting opportunity.

The problem with Coutinho is that, while he has ability to be an excellent player, his issues hold him back. When he wants to, he can be hard working and has the ability to get stuck in and not be overrun in central midfield, but his head is down far too much when he has the ball to be a success there and is far too inconsistent in his approach to games to be trusted.

Played further forward and he lacks the intelligent movement to find himself space, the consistency to be trusted and the sense to get his head up and find the best option. He also lacks pace to run in behind to stretch the play and force defenders to drop off and create space in front of them.

Put him on the wing and he again lacks pace to get at full backs. His tendency to put his head down and just run inside means he condenses the play and is not looking for the pass back out wide where the space is. Added to that, he cannot be trusted to work back and protect the full back behind him regularly. That is why he is struggling at Barca, he just is not good enough to make any one position his own.

Requested by - PakRed