It was always going to be a busy summer for Arsenal and today they announced their first transfer after Chelsea winger Willian signed with the North London club.
Gunners fans are quite split on the matter but there’s no denying that the Brazilian is a seasoned Premier League veteran with a hard-working attitude that could be an asset for any top team.
Whether or not Willian will make it at Arsenal remains to be seen but there is another topic that is creating much more buzz around the Emirates.
It’s been rumored that Mikel Arteta is pursuing Phillippe Coutinho in a bid to return the player to England.
Coutinho definitely falls into the category of a marquee signing so it’s no wonder that most of the Gunners faithful are excited about a potential move.
However, does Arteta really need Coutinho in the squad?
In this post, I share an account of the Brazillian’s attributes and recent exploits and then conclude with my opinion on whether Philippe Coutinho is the right fit for Arteta’s Arsenal.
What Could Philippe Coutinho Bring to Arsenal?
Coutinho was considered as one of the brightest talents in South America ever since his youth career in Brazil.
He didn’t quite make it in Inter Milan but he developed as a world-class midfielder after his transfer to Liverpool.
He was the main engine behind the Sterling-Suarez-Sturridge trio that nearly won the Premier League for the Reds in 2014 and it was said that was the player was firmly in Jurgen Klopp’s long-term plans.
However, with the rise of Coutinho’s status and the team’s inability to challenge for the top trophies at the start of the Klopp era, it was always going to be difficult to keep hold of him.
And sure enough, the Brazillian moved to Barcelona in 2018.
An unsuccessful stint with the Catalans led to a loan move to Bayern Munich where the midfielder was able to recreate most of the flair, skill, and vision that made him an attractive option for the elite clubs.
This may be a huge gain for Arsenal, as if we only look at his talent, Coutinho is a magnificent player.
His ability on the ball and passing range are both off the charts, and he has a taste for goals as well.
Another forward player who can score will definitely come in handy for Arteta as Aubameyang and Lacazette aside, the team has been struggling to find another prolific goalscorer.
In addition, the Brazillian’s pace and speed of thought is something that Arsenal’s Spanish coach likes very much in a playmaker.
With Mesut Ozil almost certainly out of the picture and complications surrounding a permanent move for Dani Ceballos, Coutinho is just the sort of player that can provide control and creativity in the middle of the park.
Should Mikel Arteta Pursue The Brazillian?
There’s no questioning the player’s football ability and at 28, he already has enough experience to be a leader on the pitch.
He knows the league and the language and with Gabriel Martinelli, Willian, and David Luiz already in the squad, Coutinho shouldn’t take too long to adapt.
I feel he is the right type of player for Arteta’s long-term vision but there are concerns about his attitude.
Back in 2018, he basically forced his transfer to Barcelona and it was evident that Jurgen Klopp didn’t want to see him go at the time.
Arteta has been very vocal about bringing in players with the right mentality and application, so I’m not certain that Coutinho’s character fits well in that picture.
Sure, the Spanish manager may feel like he can have a good influence on the player, and it’s true that Coutinho’s stint at Bayern Munich may have opened his eyes to the importance of being loyal and professional.
This remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain.
The Brazilian doesn’t have too much time to settle at a club where he can regularly challenge for honors. It would be sad to see such talent go to waste in his prime years so he would be wise to return to the hard-working approach that got him to the top in the first place.
It seems Arteta is keen on him but will he be able to bring the best out of the midfielder and have him commit to the cause?
Jurgen Klopp couldn’t and that really says something.