Aston Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho may consider his future at the club in the next month, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
The Lowdown: Coutinho’s game time
Coutinho has only managed to play the full 90 minutes of a match on one occasion this season, dating back to Villa’s 0-0 draw with Leeds United at the start of October.
The attacking-midfielder has missed the last three matches with a hamstring issue, so he has so far not had the opportunity to impress new manager Unai Emery, who was appointed at the end of October following Steven Gerrard’s departure.
After failing to impress prior to his injury, however, the Brazilian is now being linked with a move back to his home country, according to reports, with Corinthians and Flamengo said to be in the offing.
The Latest: Jones’ comments
In an interview with GIVEMESPORT, Jones admitted that he does not know whether the reported interest is genuine, but he believes that Coutinho could be weighing up his options at present:
“I don’t know whether that interest is concrete or not, but I think it is something that will probably start to make sense for him in January. I can certainly see a situation arising where Coutinho has to consider his future in the next month.”
The Verdict: Not the player he was
There was understandable excitement surrounding the 30-year-old’s arrival at Villa Park on an initial loan deal last January, with journalist Kwame Benaiah hailing him as a ‘baller‘, before the club chose to sign him on a permanent deal for £17m in the summer.
The playmaker arrived with a fantastic pedigree from his time at Liverpool, weighing in with 13 goal contributions in 14 appearances in the 2017-18 Premier League season, a record that secured him a £146m transfer to Barcelona.
However, it is evident that the player is currently out of form, yet to register a single goal or assist this season, and struggling to hold down a consistent place in the starting lineup.
Emery will likely want to assess Coutinho for himself, given that he has not had much of an opportunity to see him in action yet.