Brendan Rodgers has spoken out on Coutinho’s transfer to Aston Villa.
Philippe Coutinho has joined Aston Villa on a loan deal, hoping to reignite his long-lost spark in the Premier League. Following a blockbuster move from Liverpool in January 2018, the Brazilian has failed to reach his best form at Camp Nou.
The arrival of Xavi Hernandez did not change the situation for Coutinho. On the contrary, Xavi has trusted a host of young academy talents to carry out his tactics. A move to Villa reunites Coutinho with his former teammate Steven Gerrard, who works as the team’s head coach.
Brendan Rodgers, who have worked with the pair in Liverpool, has spoken about Coutinho’s transfer to Aston Villa in a new interview.
“I have to say I’m quite surprised it hasn’t worked out for him at Barcelona,” the Leicester City boss said (via Mirror).
“I thought if ever there was a player and a club which were aligned, it was probably those two,
“Sometimes, if the environment isn’t right for whatever reason…for Philippe it’s all about the environment.
“If he feels that love, and he feels that responsibility, then he’ll thrive. I’m sure he’ll do really well for Steven, he just needs to get back playing regularly. He’s shown in the Premier League he’s a top player, and he’ll look to return to that level.”
Chelsea wanted Coutinho before his Inter move!
Rodgers brought Coutinho to Anfield as a teenager, where he quickly rose up to stardom. The manager reveals he was looking to sign the Brazillian for Chelsea during his time as their youth manager.
“He’s an amazing player, and a great guy,” Rodgers continued. “I remember when we brought him in at 19. I’d seen him as a young player and we’d hoped to get him to Chelsea, but he’d already agreed he was going to Inter Milan.
“We were able to, when he was 19, bring him in then. I think at the time people maybe put a question mark over his physicality, but he proved during his time at Liverpool, and his development, what a fantastic player he was. He’s a very humble guy.”
Coutinho can make his Aston Villa debut against Manchester United this Saturday.