Tottenham are one of four Premier League clubs keeping an eye on Philippe Coutinho, report The Mirror, with the Brazil international reportedly desperate to return to the Premier League.
The former Liverpool playmaker is eyeing a return to England, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham all enquiring about his availability. This comes after reports that neither Barcelona nor Bayern Munich want to keep the 27 year-old, so could he be the perfect marquee signing for Jose Mourinho?
Eriksen replacement… Mourinho has some devastating attacking options in the shape of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, but his side have become dull to watch as they have not had a playmaker since the decline and departure of Christian Eriksen. The Dane boasted 3.3, 3.1 and 2.6 key passes per game in his three best seasons for Tottenham, and Coutinho reached similar numbers for Liverpool, averaging 2.9, 2.1 and 2 key passes each match in his best campaigns for the Reds. This season, no Tottenham player has eclipsed 1.4.
Boost for Alli… Coutinho’s arrival would also be good news for Dele Alli, who has declined in recent seasons, taking less shots and scoring fewer goals than he did in his early Tottenham years. With Coutinho firing in 2.6 shots per game of his own this term and also drawing defenders towards him with 1.5 dribbles, the opposition’s attention would shift away from Alli, perhaps allowing the England international to go back to doing what he does best, linking up with Kane and ghosting into goalscoring positions. Of course, the odd screamer from that devilish right foot wouldn’t go amiss either, adding an element of unpredictability and fun to Spurs’ play.
The anti-Mata… Perhaps surprisingly, Coutinho’s defensive numbers also suggest he would be a good fit for Mourinho, who demands a lot from his attacking players, something that led to a frosty relationship with Juan Mata. The Spaniard managed just 0.7 tackles per game the season before Mourinho sold him from Chelsea and only 0.8, 0.6 and 0.4 in the manager’s three campaigns at Manchester United. Coutinho meanwhile boasted 2.2 tackles per match in his height at Liverpool, also managing 2.8 for Brazil in the Copa America last summer and 1.5 in his best season in Catalonia. The 5 foot 8 man is feistier than he is given credit for and would relish the challenges Mourinho would lay before him.
There’s no question the former Anfield favourite has endured a nightmare couple of years, but at 27 he is only just coming into his prime, and may just need a fresh start in a league he has shined in before to shine once more. Could that be in north London? We certainly think so!
Spurs fans, fancy a summer swoop for Coutinho? Let us know in the comments below!
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