Xavi speaks out on Barcelona plans for Philippe Coutinho

Xavi speaks out on Barcelona plans for Philippe Coutinho

Xavi speaks out on Barcelona plans for Philippe Coutinho

 

Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has, on Friday, spoken out over his plans for struggling midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

Blaugrana woes

Brazilian international Coutinho is of course just one of a host of fringe stars at the Camp Nou who will be desperate to catch the eye of his new manager over the weeks ahead.

The 29-year-old has endured an altogether underwhelming spell in Blaugrana colours since swapping Merseyside for Catalunya back in 2018, struggling from both a physical and technical standpoint.

The early months of the campaign, under Ronald Koeman, saw Coutinho manage a flurry of appearances, including a quartet of La Liga starts.

However, across 11 total appearances, the ex-Liverpool standout managed just a solitary goal contribution, aptly summing up just how far he has truly fallen over the last couple of seasons.

Barcelona Coutinho

BARCELONA, SPAIN – JANUARY 25: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona substitutes his teammate Andres Iniesta and makes his debut with FC Barcelona during the Spanish Copa del Rey Quarter Final Second Leg match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou stadium at Camp Nou on January 25, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

‘Help us a lot’

In turn, ahead of his first outing since securing a long-awaited Camp Nou return, incoming boss Xavi, earlier today, was unsurprisingly drawn on his plans for Coutinho moving forward.

Some had gone as far as to suggest of late that the latest instillation on the Barcelona bench could simply bide his time, before ushering Coutinho back out the exit door in the Catalan capital, whether on a loan or a permanent basis, in January.

If his latest comments are anything to go by, though, then Xavi appears to have much grander plans for the midfield enigma.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of his side’s derby showdown with Espanyol on Saturday, Xavi assured that Coutinho could yet have a significant role to play under his watch:

‘Coutinho is someone who can play in various positions and he can be important for the team.’

‘He needs to re-find himself and recover his confidence. If he does, he will help us a lot. He has an innate talent.’

‘Xavi said it is now up to Coutinho, who recently made his 100th appearance for Barca, to deliver, suggesting his problems are more mental than physical.’

The Spanish tactician continued:

‘It depends on him. He will get chances because he’s a player I like personally. It’s more psychological than anything because he has talent.’

 

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