Crouch shares what Grealish told him last year about Aston Villa signing
Peter Crouch has shared with the Daily Mail what Jack Grealish told him about Philippe Coutinho last year following the Aston Villa loanee’s stunning debut for Steven Gerrard’s side at the weekend.
As initial impacts go, Coutinho could have hardly made a better one. The Brazilian was named on the bench for Villa’s Premier League clash with Manchester United on Saturday following his arrival on loan from Barcelona.
And it was Coutinho Gerrard turned to as soon as Villa went 2-0 down midway through the second-half. It appeared to be something of a last roll of the dice from the Villans boss.
Of course, it also looked set to be a free hit for Coutinho. It was an opportunity for the 29-year-old to build up some fitness. However, within 10 minutes of his introduction, Villa had earned themselves a lifeline.
Coutinho was involved as Jacob Ramsey was able to get one back. And five minutes later, Coutinho was able to earn Aston Villa a point. He got on the end of Ramsey’s pass to bag the equaliser.
It was a brilliant start to his loan spell. And following the cameo, Crouch shared what Grealish told him about Coutinho long before the former Liverpool man ended up at Villa Park.
“The signing of Philippe Coutinho benefits that enormously,” he told the Daily Mail. “I love him as a footballer. A genius. I spoke to Jack Grealish last year and he was saying how watching videos of Coutinho would help him before games. There are not many players who are studied by their peers.”
Coutinho still has plenty to prove at Aston Villa after brilliant debut
Aston Villa fans will be wary of getting carried away about Coutinho. In truth, the deal is possible because he has had such a difficult time at Barcelona. And with that, they will want to see him be a game-changer a lot more often.
Ross Barkley looked to be an inspired loan signing in the early stages of last season. However, by the end of the campaign, there looked to be absolutely no talk of pursuing a permanent deal.
Coutinho looks to be on another level. But Gerrard will still be challenging him to rediscover the form that prompted Barcelona to part with £142 million.
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