Our series of articles looking at the best performers from last season’s La Liga campaign sees us take a look at the exploits of Philippe Coutinho – Barcelona’s blockbuster January signing that would go on to outscore the competition, proving why his new employers were ultimately so keen to land his services.
With the beginning of the 2017/18 season beginning with the heartache of the failure to secure a dream move to the giants of Spanish football, it would not have been surprising to have seen a drop in the performance levels of Philippe Coutinho when he eventually returned from the dubious ‘back injury’ that had seen him miss the first set of fixtures for his employer.
However, with the move ultimately failing to materialise, the Brazilian proved his professionalism as he focused on delivering a number of high quality performances for the Reds – ensuring that his form was too good for Barcelona to ignore.
His form saw him hit seven goals and six assists in his 14 appearances for the Merseysiders as he played a valuable role in the infamously dubbed ‘the Fab Four’, before an eye-watering £142 million move eventually materialised for the Brazilian magician.
Coutinho in the red of Liverpool prior to his £142m transfer
A slow period of form was to greet the Brazilian following his bumper move to Barcelona, as a period of adaptation saw him fail to prove his very best form as Valverde seemed happy to make sure there was an integration period for his new man.
Assisted by his former Liverpool FC teammate Luis Suarez, Coutinho scored his first Barcelona goal on 8 February 2018 against Valencia – a goal that gave him the requisite confidence boost to know he was more than capable of delivering in a prestigious shirt that has seemed to weigh on the mind of many top footballers in the past.
Come the end of the season, the 25-year-old hit 15 goals and 11 assists in his 32 appearances across the Premier League and La Liga to secure a tally of 105 points as he firmly cemented his reputation as one of the best midfielders in world football.
With half a campaign and two titles already under his belt at the Camp Nou, Coutinho will be eagerly anticipating the start of his first full season in Barcelona and will certainly believe that there are many more awards to be won in 2018/19.
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