Philippe Coutinho’s comments on Steven Gerrard back in 2017 speak volumes given Arsenal’s interest

Philippe Coutinho has been linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window when his loan spell at Aston Villa ends, although former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard will be key to his future


Like it’s 2017 again Philippe Coutinho is a wanted man.

Nearly four months into his loan spell AstonVilla and the Brazilian has offered insights into why Barcelona spent a staggering £142million on his services five years ago – and to arouse interest from arsenal. Had failed to really reclaim his Liverpool form following his unfortunate Camp Nou transfer, Coutinho ended his Catalan nightmare in January and reunited with Steven Gerhardthe newly appointed Villa boss.

The midfielder played alongside Gerrard at Anfield for two and a half years, who unsurprisingly played a key role in Coutinho’s return First League. But with Villa currently paying just 25 per cent of his £480,000-a-week wages, a permanent move to the UK is reportedly on the horizon Summer transfer window is far from safe – even after seven direct goals in 10 games and a £33.4million purchase option negotiated into the loan deal.

That’s where Mikel Arteta and Co come in, with the Gunners possibly having the budget to offer the Brazilian a better pay package and Champions League Football should they fend off bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur as well Manchester United and hold fourth place. But comments from Coutinho just 10 months after leaving Merseyside speak volumes and hint at just how much influence Gerrard could have as his ‘idol’.

Naming his dream five-a-side team Sky SportsPicking the former Liverpool captain, the 29-year-old added: “Stevie G, that was easy. Again one of the best I’ve played with. I learned a lot from him. Also when I got here it was a dream to play with him – I used to see him in Brazil and than played him on PlayStation.

“Of course he was an idol for me and everyone who saw him play, but when we’re in the dressing room together and you can see him in training, he’s better. He’s great at everything: passing, shooting, defending,” said Coutinho confirmed before discussing his leadership qualities.

Coutinho has reignited his career at Villa Park



Join the debate! Should Arsenal sign Coutinho? Tell us your verdict here.

It puts Arsenal in a difficult position to convince the playmaker to cut ties with his hero, who says nothing has been decided about the borrower’s future. “It doesn’t make sense for me to make any decisions now,” Gerrard said recently when addressing the issue.

“When he’s in the right place physically, when he’s comfortable and happy and enjoying his football, we all know we’re dealing with a world-class talent. We just have to keep enjoying him to keep him healthy from now until the end of the season and I’m sure he will help us.

“Watching him and working with him and seeing him get back to his top form and enjoying his football again is a joy. There are of course behind-the-scenes talks about all the players and goals and when the time comes and we have a decision on that (Coutinho), the Villa fans will be the first to know.”

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