Former Liverpool and Barcelona star Luis Suarez and manager Ernesto Valverde have come to the rescue of Barcelona’s new South American debutant.
The Brazilian international who arrived from Liverpool during the winter transfer window made his first start for the Catalan Giants in a 2-1 win over Alvaes. However, while much has been expected of Philippe Coutinho, the former Liverpool playmaker failed to make too much of an impression yesterday and was even substituted off in the 66th minute.
After months and months and months of chasing the Brazilian star, Barcelona finally managed to grab Philippe Coutinho from the arms of Liverpool. Shelling out an incredible £142 million for the 25-year-old, the Catalan giants made Liverpool an offer they simply couldn’t refuse. The Brazilian has been in fine form for the Reds ever since his arrival five years ago, and over the last few seasons has flourished under manager Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage.
However, with Barcelona losing Neymar in a rather shocking transfer saga, the Catalan giants needed a new marquee player and potentially an heir to the irreplaceable Andres Iniesta. But while Coutinho’s debut wasn’t the best in the world, the Brazilian still has time to adjust to the league. But that still didn’t stop both Ernesto Valverde and Uruguay Luis Suarez to come to his defense after the match.
Manager Ernesto Valverde went on to say, “Yes, it’s true football players are not machines, like they come to a team and they contribute from the very beginning. But I saw him playing very well, participating a lot in our possession. He wanted the ball. With his skills, and the more minutes he gets he will get used to our system.”
While Philippe Coutinho’s former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez further added, “It’s always difficult to make your debut at the Nou Camp in the league. He played very well, trying to run the game and the team is happy with what he did.”
The win puts the Catalan giants nine points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, who manage to beat a stubborn Las Palmas 3-0 to hold the second spot. However, despite a loss in the Copa Del Rey, Real Madrid switched back and thrashed Valencia 4-1 to give them some hope.
There is a reason as to why Barcelona made Liverpool an offer they couldn’t refuse during the January transfer window. Simply, it allows Philippe Coutinho six months of trial and error to find his footing in the relatively brand new league, or rather a league he hasn’t played in since he was 19 years old.
The Brazilian is a magician and has the ability to do great things for Barcelona, but he needs time to adjust.
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