The Lowdown: £16.8m
Villa have already made their first big signing ahead of Steven Gerrard’s first full season in charge by making Coutinho’s loan move permanent.
Coutinho has reportedly taken a 70% pay cut in order to make a full time move to the Midlands, taking home £125,000-a-week at Villa Park.
The Latest: Hutton’s comments
He described it as an ‘incredible signing’ and added that he knows from ‘speaking to the players’ that the 29-year-old ‘raises the standards’ at Bodymoor Heath.
How many more signings do Villa need to make this summer?
“It’s an incredible signing, to be quite honest with you. It just shows you the ambition of the club moving forward.
“He’s obviously a talented player. I know from speaking to the players how highly they respect him on and off the pitch. He definitely raises the standards.
“What’s happened is Villa have had to be patient. It’s 17 appearances, four goals and three assists. That’s after him not playing a lot of football. He’s going to have a little bit of up and down time.
“Him going into a new season, with a pre-season under his belt, knowing he’s going to be a starter, I think he’s only going to get better. I think Steven Gerrard can get the best out of him as well.
“I think it shows how much Coutinho has fallen in love with the club and that he wants to be there. Both sides have given up on certain things to make this happen.”
The Verdict: Best yet to come?
Coutinho has gone nine games without a goal or an assist after seven direct goal involvements in his first eight appearances. He only made five starts for Barcelona prior to moving to Villa, so perhaps a little bit of fatigue is starting to kick in after plenty of minutes back in England.
However, with Coutinho now knowing his long-term future is with Villa, you’d like to think that the best is yet to come on the pitch under Gerrard after getting back up to speed in the Premier League and showing plenty of quality during that time.
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