Carragher says 'unreal' Aston Villa player is now actually at risk of being 'a waste of the club’s resources'
In his Telegraph column, Carragher used the example of Coutinho to show how the perception of Steven Gerrard’s reign has shifted.
Coutinho was initially seen as a coup for Villa, first on loan from Barcelona and then as a permanent signing this summer.
But he has struggled of late as Carragher’s ex-Anfield captain Gerrard has struggled to win over the Villa supporters this term.
Carragher on Coutinho
He wrote: “What Gerrard is going through now is one of the reasons many top players are put off management. Yes, the rewards are exceptionally good but your reputation is always on the line, your qualities constantly analysed and re-analysed to the point where the characteristics once referenced to praise you become ammunition for critics.
“Take the example of Gerrard signing Philippe Coutinho. When the Brazilian joined Villa on loan it was presented as the kind of coup only a manager with Gerrard’s kudos could have inspired.
“Now, because Coutinho has not delivered beyond his initial, encouraging promise, his signing is seen negatively, and one which had Gerrard’s fingerprints over it, especially as he is being picked ahead of Emi Buendía. What looked at the time to be a no-brainer deal will be remembered as a waste of the club’s resources unless Coutinho starts producing.
“It is too soon to completely dismiss that signing as a mistake, but he certainly needs to start justifying his salary.”
Coutinho has been described as ‘unreal‘ by Villa teammate Emi Martinez and at his best, he is capable of winning games for Villa.
But he is not showing it right now and you would have to say that Jack Grealish showed more consistency in a Villa shirt before he left.
Gerrard has a good relationship with Coutinho and would hope to get him out of this slump before too long but with Manchester City up next, things are not getting any easier.
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