According to Football Insider, former Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has commented on the Phillipe Coutinho story.
Although Coutinho made his transfer to Villa Park permanent over the summer, he has not yet reached the heights of Steven Gerrard’s previous season.
In eight appearances in all competitions, the 30-year-old has started just four Premier League games this season and has failed to record an assist or score a goal.
The most recent Brazil team for friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia has left Coutinho out due to his deteriorating form.
McLeish, a contributor for Sky Sports, spoke with Football Insider on the Coutinho off-field development. He described the Villa playmaker’s exclusion from Tite’s team as a “big blow” and stated that he will be “hurt” by it.
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The Scotsman noted the 30-year-absence old’s from Brazil as follows:
“His ego will take a serious hit, and he’ll get a real kick in the pants.
He is a fantastic player, and we all enjoy seeing him play at his best. He hasn’t been as consistent in recent years as he was when you first saw him in his earlier years, when he burst onto the scene, is what I would say.
“At the age of 30, you could assume he is at the top of his game, but some small event has prevented him from reaching that level in the Premier League.
“We all seen his presence at Barcelona on Champions League evenings and similar events. You wouldn’t want to play against him at all because when he initially arrived to Villa, he looked like a world-beater again in the first few games.
“I attended a West Ham game last year. He was excellent in the early going, but David Moyes switched up his approach and gradually took control of him. It appears that he occasionally has less of an impact on games than you may anticipate.
“It’s the peak now of his career. I’m sure he’ll be hurt by being left out of the national team. It might give him that wee bit of motivation he needs to get back in there by giving exceptional performances for Aston Villa.
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To earn a spot in Brazil’s World Cup team, Coutinho will likely need to improve his form. Coutinho will be anxious to travel to Qatar for the World Cup in November.
His performance against Southampton last time out was more encouraging, and Sky Sports named him player of the match because his cross set up Jacob Ramsey for the game-winning goal.
As time runs out for the 30-year-old to attract Tite’s attention, Steven Gerrard described him as a “man possessed” in training last week, so ideally Villa will benefit from a revitalised Coutinho after the international break.