It looked to all the world like Coutinho’s loan switch to Bayern Munich at the end of the European summer transfer window had released our former no.10 from Ernesto Valverde’s shackles.
After being cast out from first-team action at Barca, Coutinho was immediately granted a spot in Niko Kovac’s team.
In his first four starts, he registered three assists and two goals – demonstrating the kind of numbers he was racking up for Liverpool towards the end of his Anfield stint under Jurgen Klopp – before he got his dream Nou Camp switch.
But it looks as though it’s gone sour over at the Allianz…
Coutinho hasn’t got a goal/assist in six consecutive Bayern matches and has subsequently lost his place as a starter to boot.
The playmaker was hauled off before the hour mark of Bayern’s 5-1 defeat to Frankfurt at the start of November, and seems to have been made the scapegoat, along with Kovac, who lost his job…
In the two fixtures that followed, Coutinho played a combined 20 minutes under Hans-Dieter Flick, the interim boss who according to the Guardian will be there until Christmas at least.
The German is using Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman on the wings – and utilising more tactically adept, physical midfielders like Leon Goretzka centrally with Thomas Muller at no.10.
Matches against Olympiakos and Borussia Dortmund were won 2-0 and 4-0 respectively, so it doesn’t look like his tactic will change soon.
Don Balon have claimed Bayern have already told Barca they won’t buy Coutinho, although they are hardly the most trusted publication.
We wonder just how much Coutinho regrets his decision to leave Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool before we became European champions and Premier League favourites.