According to a recent report by Le10Sport, Arsenal are eyeing a dream move for Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who is currently playing on loan at Bayern Munich. The same source has also mentioned that the Brazilian international is on the radar of the Gunners, but the situation is ‘complex’ as he will be quite an expensive transfer target for Mikel Arteta’s side this summer. It is believed that the North London giants have already begun first discussions with the player’s agent, Kia Joorabchian with the former Liverpool midfielder keen on a return to the Premier League in this off-season (via Le10Sport).
Coutinho’s Up And Down Loan Spell In Germany
The 27-year-old has experienced a rollercoaster of a loan spell at Bavaria but has struggled to deliver on all cylinders under the stewardship of Hans-Dieter Flick so far. He has sometimes lacked consistency wearing the famous red jersey of Munich over the past nine months.
Coutinho has made 32 appearances for the German outfit this term, netting nine goals and grabbing eight assists across multiple competitions. His stats highlight his growing impact for Bayern going forward but also proves just how much he has struggled to hit the heights of his outstanding spell at Liverpool. He is currently out of action with an ankle problem which means that he might have played his last match for the Bundesliga leaders.
The Rio de Janeiro-born midfield maestro has averaged 2.6 shots, 1.4 key passes and 1.5 dribbles in every 90 minutes of league football this season. He has produced slightly better numbers in Europe where he has averaged 3.9 shots, 1.7 key passes and 2.3 dribbles per game in the seven UEFA Champions League games he has been involved in so far (stats via whoscored).
The Vasco da Gama youth product has also secured 61 senior caps for the Brazilian national side, registering 17 goals for his country in the process. Brazil manager Tite will hope that Coutinho can rediscover his old form in the upcoming campaign so that he goes into the 2021 Copa America full of confidence following the competition’s postponement as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
What Will The Brazilian International Bring To The Emirates Stadium?
Coutinho has built a reputation for being one of the most dangerous dribblers in Europe as he can be a difficult man to dispossess when running at full speed using his excellent close control, composure and trickery. The Barca midfield ace is a technically gifted footballer who has a low centre of gravity that allows him to make clever turns in and around the opposition penalty box. He is also deadly from set-pieces after scoring a plethora of eye-catching goals from free-kicks over the past few years.
Recruiting a midfielder of Coutinho’s quality and technical prowess will undeniably be a massive coup for the Gunners ahead of the new season. He will not only bring a lot of goals and creativity to the North London club but also enhance the overall quality of Arteta’s senior squad. What makes him a dream signing for Arsenal is his ability to score or create goals out of nothing.
However, the Gunners should only consider making an offer for the Brazilian if they decide to part ways with Mesut Ozil this summer. Arteta cannot afford to have two players with similar qualities in his squad. Plus, Coutinho can also be a bit lazy off the ball and will demand high wages identical to what Ozil has been guilty of during his time at the Emirates Stadium.
At the same time, the Brazilian has the potential to get the best out of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli due to his creativity to cook up goal-scoring opportunities consistently in the opposition half. With all things considered, Arteta should work towards bringing Coutinho back to the Premier League if he has the funds to seal such a move this summer as he could help reestablish the Gunners as a Champions League regular in the coming seasons.