Quique Setien badly wants Barcelona to keep Philippe Coutinho instead of entertaining offers from Premier League outfits.
After a poor 18-month spell at Camp Nou, Coutinho was shipped out to Bayern Munich on loan and slapped with a £120m buy-back clause.
Bayern are not interested in activating that deal and reports of a Premier League return have continued to present itself since the January window. Coutinho could not impress when played in Neymar’s position on the left flank under Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona. He could not link up well enough and very quickly got ruled out as a flop despite his £142m price tag.
While many were quick to judge him, Setien has realized why the Brazilian was ineffective at Camp Nou. “Coutinho is a great player, I like him very much. Basically, he is a Barcelona player,” Quique Setién of the RAC1 radio station said. “Of course, I would want to have him back. I would want to talk with him.”
The Barcelona manager appreciated Coutinho’s talents. “I don’t know him personally, but I have the impression that he needs an ideal context and adequate conditions to express himself as a footballer,” said Setién in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung earlier.
He went on to further clarify how the attacking midfielder can be best utilized. He continued, “The way you let him play, the things you allow him to do, plays a big role. In Barcelona, however, the main role is always reserved for him (referring to Lionel Messi). You have to deal with that.”
“When he was here, Barça’s game style did not suit him. He was pushed to the outside lane in a 4-4-2 and had to pursue the opposing full-back from time to time because the rooms inside were occupied by Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi.“
With all football clubs feeling the pinch of the Coronavirus pandemic, Barcelona might be forced to restest their current talents. Giving Coutinho a second chance is a good place to start, something Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United won’t be happy to hear.