‘I’m having a very good time… I have returned with a lot of desire for things to go well’: Philippe Coutinho relishing his second opportunity at Barcelona after his Nou Camp career looked all but over just months ago
- Philippe Coutinho has returned to Spain with ‘a lot of desire for things to go well’
- He says he’s ‘having a very good time’ at Barca after being given another chance
- Barcelona had planned to sell Coutinho this summer, however, plans changed
- New boss Ronald Koeman called him back into the Barcelona squad this year
- Coutinho had been linked with a move to either Arsenal, Tottenham or Leicester
Philippe Coutinho is relishing his second opportunity at Barcelona after his career the Nou Camp looked over just months ago.
The former Liverpool striker was expected to leave the Catalans on a permanent basis this summer following the expiration of his loan spell in Germany, but new manager Ronald Koeman called the 28-year-old back into the fold.
Since then Coutinho has been a mainstay in the Barcelona XI, hitting the heights expected of him when he joined from the Premier League for £145million in January 2018.
Striker Philippe Coutinho has returned to Barcelona with ‘a lot of desire for things to go well’
Speaking of his transformation while on international duty, Coutinho said: ‘I’m having a very good time.
‘In these seasons I have achieved many things on a personal and collective level, which is the most important thing.
‘I have returned to Spain with a lot of desire for things to go well and it is also what I want in the national team.
‘Every opportunity I have I want to play great games giving my best for the team.’
Coutinho is thriving under Ronald Koeman as the new manager has encouraged him to play with attacking freedom.
He is thriving under Ronald Koeman as he encourages him to play with attacking freedom
Coutinho previously struggled to find his feet a Barca, after signing for £145m from Liverpool
Coutinho previously struggled to find his feet a Barca, failing to live up to expectations when he arrived in 2018 for a record fee.
He played a total of 76 games for the Catalans in all competitions during his first season – scoring 21 goals and winning the LaLiga title – but his performances were not enough to keep him in the squad.
Coutinho appeared out of place, often drifting aimlessly across the field and failing to spark a real connection with his fellow attackers.
His second season at the club, and his first full one, proved just as ill-fated. Just 11 more goals followed in all competitions.
Coutinho was sent out on loan to Bayer Munich and subsequently won the treble with them
Koeman called Coutinho after he put two past Barca in the Champion’s League to ask him back
Subsequently Coutinho was sent out on loan and spent last season in Bavaria. During that time he won a treble and even scored twice in Bayern’s 8-2 inhalation of his parent club in the Champions League.
Following an upturn in form, Coutinho had been linked with a move to either Arsenal, Tottenham or Leicester.
However, Coutinho’s agent claims that Koeman called him after Bayern’s Champions League victory to declare that the 28-year-old would be apart of his plans going forward.
Coutinho credits his change in form to Hansi Flick and his time in Germany, saying he learnt a lot while on loan.
He said: ‘At Bayern, I learned a lot about work, because they are very intense in training.
‘A natural consequence is the evolution in the physical part, which I have really had, because you work a lot and I have worked a lot.
‘I already had this way of thinking, but now I have to dedicate myself three or four times more than normal to be successful.’
Coutinho is currently away on international duty with Brazil and will return to Barcelona