Philippe Coutinho has admitted his form for Barcelona this season has been “a lot worse” than he expected.
The Brazil international joined Barca from Liverpool in January 2018 for a fee which could rise to £142m and although he made a promising start – scoring 10 goals in 22 appearances – his form has been rather unconvincing this season.
Coutinho’s Barca struggles: Five key things to know…
- Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018.
- Things started well, with the 26-year-old netting 10 goals in 22 games.
- This season, though, he only managed eight goals and five assists in La Liga and Champions League games.
- This form has seen him under fire from fans and linked with a move away.
- Coutinho himself has admitted his disappointment at his form.
Coutinho managed just eight goals and five assists across 46 combined La Liga and Champions League outings during 2018/19, leading to reports linking him with a return to the Premier League and the player coming under fire from sections of Barca’s fanbase.
“I have not had a good season,” said the 26-year-old. “My performances have been a lot worse than I expected they would.
“The only way to improve and gain confidence is through hard work, and I have been working hard.”
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Despite his poor form, Coutinho has been called up to the Brazil squad for this summer’s Copa America.
PSG captain Thiago Silva has also made the Seleção squad for the tournament and has backed Coutinho, claiming he has looked much happier on international duty.
“In the two friendlies that we have played, he has been the best player on the pitch,” Silva noted. “Not just because of his passing and goal scoring ability but also his defensive work-rate.
“He is a lot happier again now and he is playing with a smile.”