Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Coutinho’s new club is confirmed as former £145m star leaves Europe

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Philippe Coutinho has returned to his boyhood club in Rio de Janeiro on a season-long loan from Aston Villa.

The former Liverpool superstar, who joined Barcelona for an astonishing £145million in 2018, has struggled to find a long-term home since leaving the Nou Camp, first joining Bayern Munich and Aston Villa on loan before signing for the Premier League outfit in 2022.

The 32-year-old Brazilian temporarily left Villa Park last campaign in a season-long loan move to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Duhail, but only managed to score three goals in 16 appearances.

Now, Coutinho has opted to return to his roots by signing for his boyhood club Vasco da Gama in Rio. 

‘It’s a feeling of great happiness, joy and anxiety,’ the winger said upon re-joining the club. ‘I lived abroad for a long time, so it really is a feeling of coming home, to the place where I grew up, to the place I love, the club I love. 

Philippe Coutinho has returned to his boyhood club Vasco da Gama on a season-long loan
The Brazilian, 32, has left Aston Villa on loan again after playing in Saudi Arabia last campaign

‘Everyone, my family, knows how happy I am and they are all happy about this return.’

Coutinho came through Vasco da Gama’s youth academy before being scouted by Serie A giants Inter Milan in 2008.

He impressed at the San Siro as a youngster ahead of signing for Liverpool in 2013, where he spent another five years before moving to Barcelona in still one of the most expensive transfers of all time.

During his time at Anfield, Coutinho made 152 appearances for the Reds and netted 41 goals. 

His sale fee enabled Liverpool to sign a handful of important players under Jurgen Klopp, including Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.

Former Liverpool star Coutinho signed for Barcelona in a deal worth £145million back in 2018

Vasco da Gama, who sit 13th in the Brazilian top flight after 15 games, will hope Coutinho can link up quickly with former West Ham and Marseille star Dimitri Payet, 37, who joined the club in 2023.

Payet has so far been battling with hamstring injury setbacks this season, starting just four of Vasco da Gama’s league matches since April.

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