According to reports, Barcelona superstars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are the only former teammates who supported Philippe Coutinho during his short, one-and-a-half-year stint at the Camp Nou.
Coutinho, who arrived at Barcelona in 2018 January for a transfer fee of €140million, did well in the initial set of matches but after the 2018 World Cup, he suffered from an unexpected dip in form.
The Brazilian star scored ten goals and made six assists in just 22 appearances for the Catalans in the 2017-18 season – but in 54 appearances for them in 2018-19, he scored only eleven more goals and made just five more assists.
The 27-year-old joined Barcelona largely due to the wishes of both Messi and Suarez, who firmly believed that the former Liverpool and Inter Milan star definitely had what it takes to excel in the Blaugrana colours.
However, Coutinho failed to impress manager Ernesto Valverde – and also fell out with a lot of teammates during the 2018-19 season, according to Don Balon.
The Spanish news agency further reports that Messi and Suarez tried their level best to make their teammates accept the star attacker, but the two unforgettable defeats of the 2018-19 season – the first one against Liverpool in the semi-finals of the Champions League and the second one against Valencia in the finals of the Copa del Rey – resulted in further problems as Coutinho’s dip in form was one of the major reasons why Barcelona lost both matches.
And now, the 27-year-old has secured a loan move to Bayern Munich – and the German giants are also likely to activate the “buy” clause in his deal next summer.
Meanwhile, Don Balon reports that both Messi and Suarez now want Valverde and co. to find a replacement to Coutinho at the earliest, so that the club can return back to its winning ways.