After a horrific spell at Barcelona was cut short by a loan move to Aston Villa, Philippe Coutinho says he has “unbelievably high admiration” for his ex-Liverpool team-mate, who convinced him to sign for Villa Park.
Coutinho began his loan stint at Villa on Tuesday, after his parent club Barcelona made him available.
The 29-year-old has endured a nightmare few seasons at the Catalan club, making just 106 appearances in four years, predominantly on loan to Bayern Munich.
After rumours of him leaving this winter, the football magician has since signed with Villa, hoping to prove his brilliance once again in the Premier League after a successful spell at Liverpool prior to his La Liga misery.
As Coutinho’s teammate at the Reds, Gerrard scored 28 goals in his last 71 league appearances for the club. He will be looking forward to helping Coutinho rediscover his spark as a player.
And the Liverpool hero was a huge reason for Coutinho’s move, with the midfield maestro hoping to ‘repay’ the man he used to share a dressing room with.
Coutinho was inspired by the Liverpool legend to move to Villa and is hoping to ‘repay’ a man he used to train with.
“It’s a pleasure to be here, it’s a great club,” Coutinho told Villa’s official website.
“I spoke a lot with Stevie and he told me about the club, the ambitions of the club and his ambitions. Of course, I’m very happy to be here and to enjoy the football here.
“I know Stevie for a long time. I played with him, I learned a lot with him and he’s a guy who I have big admiration for.
“I hope to do my best here and for sure I have hard work and I know many of the people on his staff. I hope together we can do good work.