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Aston Villa confirm Coutinho loan with Barcelona outcast completing Gerrard reunion

3:33 PM EST 1/11/22
Philippe Coutinho Aston Villa 2021-22
The Brazilian playmaker is returning to England four years on from making a big-money move to Camp Nou that did not play out as planned

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona with an option to buy the former Liverpool playmaker as he reunites with his old team-mate Steven Gerrard.

The Brazil international will see out the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign at Villa Park, wearing the No 23 shirt as he seeks to rediscover the spark he lost in Catalunya.

He previously starred in the Premier League across five years at Anfield and will be hoping to pick up where he left off after agreeing to work under Gerrard rather than play alongside him.

What has been said?

Aston Villa confirmed the deal on Tuesday, releasing a video on social media to unveil their new Brazilian star.

The club previously announced the impending arrival in a statement which read: "Aston Villa and FC Barcelona have agreed terms for Philippe Coutinho to spend the rest of this season on loan at Villa Park. The agreement also includes an option to buy."

Why is Coutinho on the move?

The 29-year-old first arrived in England back in the winter window of 2013, when Liverpool lured him away from Serie A giants Inter.

He settled quickly on Merseyside and became a key creative cog for the Reds under Brendan Rodgers.

Premier League title glory fell out of reach in his first full campaign, with major silverware proving elusive across an otherwise productive stint with the Reds.

In total, Coutinho made 201 appearances for Liverpool and scored 54 goals, while also proving to be a useful source of assists.

Those efforts earned plenty of admiring glances from afar, with the opportunity to complete a dream switch to Barcelona presenting itself in January 2018.

A £146 million ($198m) move was sanctioned, but Coutinho struggled to maintain standards alongside Lionel Messi and co at Camp Nou.

The 2019-20 season was spent on loan at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, but inconsistency followed the South American from Spain to Germany.

Niggling injuries have also proved to be a problem, with Barca making it clear during the summer window of 2021 that they were ready to cut their losses and move Coutinho on.

Various landing spots had been mooted for him since then, with reports that six Premier League teams expressed interest this time, but he is hoping a partnership with Gerrard will deliver an upturn in fortune once again.

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