Need to build around Philippe Coutinho if we want to get to where we want to be, claims Steven Gerrard

Need to build around Philippe Coutinho if we want to get to where we want to be, claims Steven Gerrard

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Philippe Coutinho



Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has revealed that he wants Philippe Coutinho to stay beyond his loan spell and believes that Villa need to build around the Brazilian to turn their fortunes. The 29-year-old signed for the Villa Park side on loan in January and has contributed to six goals since.

Ever since he left England for Camp Nou, nothing has quiet worked out for Philippe Coutinho although he did thrive for Bayern Munich during a loan spell. The Brazilian won the treble with the Bundesliga giants but didn’t do enough to warrant a permanent move to Germany which didn’t help his cause at Barcelona. However, Coutinho eventually left the La Liga side and signed for Aston Villa, making his return to England after leaving Liverpool in January 2018.

Since then, the 29-year-old has thrived for his new team, contributing to three goals and as many assists in just seven league games. It has been one of the main reasons why Villa have found their form under Steven Gerrard and the Villa boss believes that the club need to make Coutinho’s loan move permanent. There is an option to buy inserted in the deal but Gerrard added that while he doesn’t control transfers, he knows that building a team around the 29-year-old will change Villa’s fortunes.

"Phil was successful at Barcelona but he had difficult periods as well. He got to the stage where he needed a change of scenery and a different movie. We want to be that movie for him because if we want to get to where we want to be, we need to build it around talents like Phil, because at his best he is a high-level player," Gerrard said, reported Goal.

"All good teams have game-changers who the opposition are really concerned about before a ball is kicked. Phil has that status and he is giving belief to his team-mates. Our strikers Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings want him alongside them because he delivers on the big stage. I don’t control transfer fees or wages.

"All I can do is give my opinion to (sporting director) Johan Lange, (chief executive) Christian Purslow and the owners. They are watching the games and they will make the final decision. Phil has shown what he is capable of so far,” he added.

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