The pivotal role Philippe Coutinho could play help to unlock Chelsea’s attacking potential

The last two years have been something of a chastening experience for Philippe Coutinho.

When the Brazilian moved from Liverpool to Barcelona in January 2018, the Brazilian did so in the belief he was the heir to Andres Iniesta at the Camp Nou.

Once the legendary Spaniard departed at the end of that campaign, Coutinho would become the club’s midfield fulcrum.

It didn’t happen. Injuries played their part but Ernesto Valverde could never find a proper home for Coutinho in his Barca side. He didn’t have the discipline to play as an eight and when used from the left, the 27-year-old often cut inside and crowded the space usually reserved for a certain Leo Messi.

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It’s why last summer, the Catalan club were desperate to offload Coutinho and recoup as much of the £142m they’ve committed to paying Liverpool as possible. Yet there were no takers.

In the end, Coutinho joined Bayern on loan; the German club paid just £7.5m to secure the services of the Brazil international for the season and an option to make the deal permanent for £105m was included.

It’s increasingly unlikely, however, Bayern will take up that option. And that will leave Coutinho’s career in limbo once more. According to Spanish publication Sport, he wants to return to English football and that is why Chelsea have reportedly made contact with the forward’s agent Kia Joorabchian.

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