Monday, February 6, 2023

Chelsea Lining Up This Former Liverpool Midfielder As Hazard’s Replacement: Wise Move For Sarri?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Cadena SER (via the Metro), Chelsea are ready to step up their chase for Barcelona midfielder Phillipe Coutinho as they brace themselves for life after Eden Hazard, who has been heavily linked with Real Madrid this summer. The same source has mentioned that the Pensioners look resigned to losing Hazard and are prepared to reinvest the money generated from his sale to fund a move for Coutinho at the end of this campaign.

Coutinho’s Struggles In The La Liga This Season

Since his move from Liverpool at the start of last year, the Brazilian playmaker’s time at the Nou Camp has arguably been quite underwhelming. He has struggled to hit the heights from his time at Anfield thus far, but to his credit, Coutinho has still managed to put in a few match-winning displays for the Catalans during this campaign.

The 26-year-old has made 52 appearances for the Spanish champions this term, scoring 11 goals while creating five assists in multiple competitions. Coutinho’s numbers have considerably dropped this term when compared with his records from previous seasons at Merseyside. 

When Barca faced off against Liverpool in a two-legged UEFA Champions League semifinal tie recently, the Brazilian’s problems were once again on display as he struggled to make an impact in the opposition half. He was a frustrated figure for long periods in both of those contests as he failed to deliver at the biggest stage which saw his side crash out in nightmare fashion earlier this week.

Why The Brazil International Could Still Be A Star In The Premier League?

At 26, the La Liga dazzler is about to embark upon the peak years of his playing career which Chelsea could look to benefit from in the upcoming campaign.

Even though the former Inter Milan prospect has been low in confidence this season, the fact remains that Coutinho has proven his worth in the past that he can open up the sternest of defences with his incredible vision. The Brazilian midfielder is also an accomplished finisher inside the opposing box and can be a potent threat from long range. 

Signing Coutinho: Wise Move For The West London Outfit?

Hence, Coutinho’s acquisition will significantly bolster Maurizio Sarri’s frontline if he can somehow manage to convince the Barca ace to seal a return back to the Premier League. It could be a shrewd move for Chelsea in the long-run as the South American talent will be an ideal replacement for Hazard if the Belgian winger does end up leaving Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window.

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