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Aston Villa: Frank McAvennie questions Philippe Coutinho commitment

Aston Villa: Frank McAvennie questions Philippe Coutinho commitment -Aston Villa News

Aston Villa’s Philippe Coutinho may be lacking ‘hunger’ at this stage of his career, pundit Frank McAvennie has told Football Insider.

The lowdown

After a successful loan spell in the second half of last season, Villa agreed to pay FC Barcelona £18million to sign Coutinho permanently.

As per Capology figures (via FBRef), he’s the third-highest earner at the Midlands outfit, taking home £125,000 per week. Only Lucas Digne (£163,500) and Boubacar Kamara (£150,000) are thought to be on larger salaries.

But even that figure is dwarfed by the £470,000 he reportedly earned every week during his time at Barcelona.

The latest

McAvennie, who played for Villa in 1992, told FI that while Coutinho possessed quality, he may now be short of desire given the extent of his earnings.

He said: “Coutinho is a good player, maybe now that he’s got that much money he’s not bothered. He doesn’t seem to have the hunger. He looks to me that he’s not got that fire in his belly.”

The verdict

It’s been a difficult start to the season for Coutinho, who’s failed to register either a goal or an assist across his first eight appearances in all competitions.

He’s failed to complete 90 minutes in any of Villa’s matches, and Steven Gerrard has named him on the bench three times.

To make matter worse, the 30-year-old missed out on the final Brazil squad before the Qatar World Cup in November.

Could these struggles partly be down to a subconscious lack of application?

Well, one way we might measure that is by looking at a player’s contribution off the ball and, intriguingly, Coutinho ranks well below average compared to positional peers for pressures (26th percentile), tackles (40th), interceptions (26th) and clearances (23rd) per 90 minutes.

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Article title: Aston Villa: Frank McAvennie questions Philippe Coutinho commitment

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