What to do with Philippe Coutinho?
Up next in our ‘What to do’ series, we look at Aston Villa’s Philippe Coutinho. Specifically, should FPL managers keep or sell him?
What to do?
Aston Villa pulled off a January coup when securing Philippe Coutinho’s loan move from Barcelona. Reunited with former Liverpool team mate Steven Gerrard, the Brazilian scored on his club debut – a Gameweek 22 cameo.
Between Gameweeks 24 and 28, three goals and three assists arrived. Only four players had more goal attempts in this period, as his price climbed £0.5m at a lightning pace. Yet his peak 2.1 million ownership has halved ever since, due to a streak of seven successive blanks.
Even worse, Coutinho was benched yesterday at Burnley. His replacement Emiliano Buendia duly delivered a goal and assist. Combined with the additional returns of Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins, it might be difficult for Coutinho to get back into Gerrard’s starting line-up.
However, underlying statistics from Fantasy Football Scout Members Area suggest he’s still amongst Villa’s most threatening players. During his blank spell from Gameweek 29, he comes second for Aston Villa shots and first for chances created.
Looking at Double Gameweek 37, Aston Villa is ranked top of the Fixture Ticker because of a pair of home games against Crystal Palace and Burnley.
What could stop managers from investing in Villa is a potential lack of motivation to win these matches. Yet they’ve just comfortably disposed of Norwich and Burnley with this ‘problem’, so that theory can quickly be dismissed.
One other theory is that Coutinho’s future may have already been decided. It will take €40million to secure him permanently but with eye-watering wages. If his recent form has turned Gerrard off the move, perhaps he is already looking ahead to post-Coutinho life.
Several popular FPL assets are hovering around Coutinho’s £7.1m price tag, like Wilfried Zaha, Bukayo Saka and James Maddison. Not only that, a popular movement will be a downgrade to Everton’s Anthony Gordon for their must-win double.
Additionally, managers may believe their calculations can overcome ‘Pep Roulette’ and settle on a Man City midfielder such as Phil Foden or Bernardo Silva.
Thoughts from the FPL community
FPL Cheetah vocalises the fears of all Coutinho owners following his benching at Burnley.
Furthermore, NightHawk believes he can already hear the mass sales and benchings of the Brazilian.