Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard hopes Phillipe Coutinho will sign for the club permanently

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‘He needed a change of scenery and a different movie – We want to be that movie’: Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard hopes Philippe Coutinho will sign for the club permanently after his stunning start to his loan spell

  • Phillipe Coutinho has three goals and three assists since joining Aston Villa 
  • He helped inspire Steven Gerrard’s side to a 4-0 win against Southampton 
  • Gerrard hopes the Brazilian will sign for Villa on a permanent deal this summer 


Steven Gerrard believes Philippe Coutinho can help revive Aston Villa’s glorious past if he signs permanently, following a spectacular start to his loan spell.

Coutinho has three goals and three assists in seven games since Gerrard brought in his old Liverpool team-mate from Barcelona in January.

Now, as he prepares to face Leeds on Thursday, Gerrard challenged Villa to finish in the top 10 for the first time since 2011 — but his aims, and those of billionaire owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, are higher.

Phillipe Coutinho has scored three goals and provided three assists in seven games at Villa

Phillipe Coutinho has scored three goals and provided three assists in seven games at Villa

Steven Gerrard hopes the Brazilian will sign for the club on a permanent deal this summer

Steven Gerrard hopes the Brazilian will sign for the club on a permanent deal this summer

Gerrard was careful not to directly call for Villa to buy Coutinho, who is 30 in June and would command high wages, but his opinion is clear.

‘Phil was successful at Barcelona but he had difficult periods as well,’ said Gerrard. ‘He got to the stage where he needed a change of scenery and a different movie.

‘We want to be that movie for him because if we want to get to where we want to be, we need to build it around talents like Phil, because at his best he is a high-level player.

‘All good teams have game-changers who the opposition are really concerned about before a ball is kicked. Phil has that status and he is giving belief to his team-mates.

Coutinho would cost Aston Villa £33m if they were to make a move during the summer window

Coutinho would cost Aston Villa £33m if they were to make a move during the summer window

‘Our strikers Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings want him alongside them because he delivers on the big stage. I don’t control transfer fees or wages. All I can do is give my opinion to (sporting director) Johan Lange, (chief executive) Christian Purslow and the owners. They are watching the games and they will make the final decision. Phil has shown what he is capable of so far.’

It will be intriguing to see whether Villa’s long-term transfer strategy can accommodate Coutinho, who has a year left on his Barcelona deal. Another loan would be possible only if Barca were prepared to waive a fee. He earns £250,000 a week and would cost about £33million.

His display on Saturday would justify those numbers as Villa tore Saints apart, with Watkins, Douglas Luiz, Coutinho and Ings all on target — their best display of the season.

Saints had lost only one of their last 15 matches but were swept aside.

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