News Live Scores
Transfers

'First-class' Coutinho backed to rediscover Liverpool form in Munich by Bayern legend Ze Roberto

5:20 PM EDT 8/18/19
Philippe Coutinho Barcelona 2018-19
The former Brazil international knows what it takes to succeed in the Bundesliga, and he is backing the Barcelona outcast to get back to his best

Philippe Coutinho can rediscover the best form of his Liverpool days at Bayern Munich, according to club favourite Ze Roberto, but he has to start finding the net.

The Barcelona misfit is set for an initial loan switch to the Bundesliga champions, who will have an option to buy if the 27-year-old proves a success.

He has struggled for form in Spain since moving in January 2018, never looking at his best and scoring just five goals in La Liga last season.

Ze Roberto, now 45, knows what it takes for a Brazilian to succeed at Bayern having made more than 150 Bundesliga appearances for the club, and he is backing Coutinho to enjoy similar success.

“For me, Coutinho is a first-class player,” he told kicker. “But he has to prove that by returning to the level he showed at Liverpool. But I think Bayern is a club with a perfect atmosphere for him to do it.

“His greatest strength is his ability to shake up the opposing lines. With his dribbling, but also with his game intelligence, which means that he knows how to use the other players in front of goal, he knows how to set them free. But he has to increase his goal return.”

Ze Roberto won four Bundesliga titles and four DFB-Pokals during his time at the club, and Coutinho will be expected to contribute to a similar level of success.

Manager Niko Kovac is taking his side into the post-Robben and Ribery era and looking to hold off the challenge of Lucien Favre’s effervescent Borussia Dortmund side at the same time. Coutinho won’t have long to find his feet – but Ze Roberto thinks he has the explanation for his indifferent returns at Barcelona.

“Because he often only played as a substitute,” he said. “And he didn’t often play in his best position - coming in from the left or from deep with momentum to attack the goal.

“And when he was there, he couldn’t bring the necessary intensity on the pitch like he did at Liverpool. But at Bayern, I think he should be able to settle in better.”

Ze Roberto isn’t the only person tipping Coutinho to find his feet in Bavaria.

New teammate Robert Lewandowski, hoping to profit from the Brazilian’s playmaking ability, thinks he will fit in seamlessly at the Allianz Arena, while former Liverpool team-mate Marko Grujic has gone as far as predicting he will be the best player in Germany.