Could Coutinho fit the bill as New Neymar?

“Philippe Coutinho has become the aforementioned member of the shortlist of footballers set to replace superstar football player Neymar Jr at Barcelona.”

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Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho has become the aforementioned member of the shortlist of footballers set to replace superstar football player Neymar Jr.

So has Coutinho got what it takes? The short answer – no. But here’s how he could fit in alternatively. Ernesto Valverde recently gave a statement to the press in regards to Neymar Jr’s departure from the club.

“We must turn the page”, he said.

“Everybody is free to choose their [own] destiny, he has chosen his and we wish him luck.”

“We would have liked him to stay here, but we have to turn the page.”

“You do not have to look behind but at what is in front, which is a lot.”

“Some doors are closed, but others are also opened.”

Philippe Coutinho celebrating for Liverpool FC

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It was a controversial move that shocked the world – and many Blaugrana’s fans at the time (the Brazilian definition for Blue and Reds – força Barca’s traditional home kit colour).

Back in Catalonia, many fans were angered by the lack of loyalty Neymar had for the club that made him a superstar, however, without the massive 198m move to PSG, arguably, the football player might never make his true mark in history as one of the best football players of his generation.

“Everybody is free to choose their [own] destiny” – Ernesto Valverde

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Neymar Jr will play with the no. 10 at PSG instead of no. 11 (his former shirt no. at Barca)

The Brazilian has many to compete with for the title (for present day): Imbrahimović, Bale, Lewandoski, Hazard, Agüero and countless others come to mind. But of course his former La Liga ally, Leo Messi and former La Liga foe, Christiano Ronaldo, sit comfortably at the top of that list.

The day may never come for Neymar, present day, however inevitably Messi and Ronaldo will retire, and so it is within Neymar’s best interests to push forward. It would seem inevitable that Neymar will succeed more at another club and another league, giving him the emphasis and solo outing that he needs to push himself forward and give himself the best chance at Ballon d’or success!

Back to Coutinho, however. So instead of the traditional MSN, could Coutinho make his mark where Neymar Jr left off – a potential MSC – and can it be as lethal?

Only time will tell, however, with Neymar gone Barca will need to develop an intrusive attacking player, who will not only have to keep up with Suarez and Messi, but work cohesively as a unit with the whole Barca squad. Coutinho could work well as a fast moving winger, with his legendary assisting prowess at Liverpool FC backed! But whether or not he could work well as a trio with Suarez and Messi – debatable.

 

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