Report: Arteta’s last minute change of heart saw Villa land Philippe Coutinho ahead of Arsenal
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Report: Arteta's last minute change of heart saw Villa land Philippe Coutinho ahead of Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was keen on signing Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho right up until the last moments, before a change of heart led the former Liverpool man to Aston Villa.

Coutinho has joined Villa on loan until the end of the season. Steven Gerrard’s side will then have an option to buy, depending on the success of the initial spell. However, according to The Mirror, it could have been oh so different had Arsenal followed up their interest.

The Mirror claim that Arsenal boss Arteta had been up for signing Coutinho ever since the summer. It’s claimed the Gunners boss even took note of the Brazilian’s successful return from injury, before a change of heart in the last few days saw Arsenal call off the deal.

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Arteta’s decision was probably helped by the form of his team at the moment. Summer signing Martin Odegaard is currently shining. Beyond that, players such as Emile Smith Rowe and Gabi Martinelli have also taken their chance.

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Coutinho has struggled massively since leaving Liverpool. But despite that, his former skipper Steven Gerrard is excited by the prospect of having the playmaker at Villa.

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There really wasn’t any need for Mikel Arteta to add another number ten type player to the ranks. Yes, if Odegaard hadn’t worked out, then there’d have been a stronger case.

But bringing in Coutinho – who is on big money – could have disrupted things. After all, the Brazilian will expect to play, which would have meant Arteta dropping one of his in-form stars. That, of course, wouldn’t go down too well.

For Aston Villa, it’s a huge bonus that Arsenal didn’t pursue Coutinho. Everyone knows how good he can be on his day.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will continue to put faith in youth. Albeit, there could still be some action in the January window.

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