Philippe Coutinho’s arrival from Liverpool has already had a positive impact on the team, as the Brazilian’s quality has improved this already brilliant Barcelona side.
It was said that Coutinho’s move has caused a rift in the Barcelona dressing room. Some players like Iniesta, Rakitic and Turan are not happy with the Brazilian’s imminent arrival, as this would mean fewer playing minutes for them.
Publicly though, Iniesta has always maintained that Coutinho will not push him out of his boyhood club.
“I’m a player for this club and I’ve always said that only the best can play for this club.
“That makes Coutinho one of the best. He’s young and he has an innate talent, while Barcelona are a club where he can keep growing.
“There will never be a player that can make me retire or kick me out of here. At 33 years of age, that isn’t the issue. Coutinho has come here to improve us.
“I’m happy that he’s one of the best players in his position. He has the things that we like.
“He’s a quick and skilful player, who links up very well, uses both feet very well, creates goals and scores them.
“He’ll find a very good environment to grow here. The money we paid for him is another thing.
But it looks like Coutinho has had an interesting effect on the team, as his arrival has seen Messi dictate play much more from midfield. This is what respected journalist Guillem Balague had to say about this tweak in tactics.
“The key thing here is that he was playing in a new formation in which Philippe Coutinho may have started as a midfielder but quickly became a forward, and has Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez as well,” Balague told Sky Sports.
“Barcelona were with four forwards so Messi had to do a little bit of midfield work, also as a No 10 and scored two as well.
“It was another complete performance from the little genius and that’s what separates him from the rest because for his entire career.
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