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Aston Villa: Paul Robinson makes Philippe Coutinho claim

Aston Villa: Paul Robinson makes Philippe Coutinho claim -Aston Villa News

Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has delivered his verdict on the future of attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho at Aston Villa

The lowdown: Star signing

The 29-year-old arrived at Villa Park in January on a short term deal from Barcelona until the end of the season and proved to be an instant hit in the Midlands.

Following a debut goal against Manchester United in a 2-2 draw, Coutinho has taken his tally to four goals and three assists in just 14 Premier League outings.

Despite a dip in overall form for Villa in recent weeks, manager Steven Gerrard has been backed to pursue a move for the former Liverpool man…

The latest: Robinson endorses summer move

Speaking to Football Insider, ex-Tottenham number one and current BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Robinson backed Villa to sign Coutinho on a permanent basis due to the good personal relationship with the manager.

“Villa have slipped away quietly this season. I was expecting them to finish in the top ten after the impact Steven Gerrard had in his first few weeks. They were playing really well.

“They are a work in progress though. You forget where they were when he took over. I still think he’ll want to sign Coutinho permanently. They have such a good relationship. I can see it happening.

“I think Coutinho, [Ollie] Watkins, John McGinn and Matty Cash will be the players Steven builds the team around next season. I can see them pushing on if they do.

“They have fallen away but I expect a big improvement next year.”

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The verdict: Make it happen

Without a goal contribution in six outings, there has been an undoubted drop off since a scintillating introduction to life as a Villan for Coutinho.

However, boasting an impressive trophy cabinet with 11 major accolades from spells at the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, opportunities to sign a player of the 68-cap Brazilian’s calibre don’t present themselves that often.

Will Celtic win the title?

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Yes, 100%

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With a reported option to buy standing at £33million (Sky Sports), the Aston Villa hierarchy should be willing to sanction the permanent move for the skilful forward once described as possessing ‘magical powers’ by Roberto Firmino as Gerrard looks to build a squad ready to challenge the top half of the table next season.

In other news, journalist urges Aston Villa to focus on key position. Read more here.

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Article title: Aston Villa: Paul Robinson makes Philippe Coutinho claim

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