5 Ways Barcelona can improve next season
Barcelona have won 8 out of the last 11 La Ligas and are on course to win a 5th Copa Del Rey in as many years. But back to back humiliating exits from Champions League means there are changes that need to be done at the club to improve the squad. Hence we look at 5 ways on how Barcelona can improve next season.
#5 Sell Philip Coutinho
On 6 January 2018, Liverpool confirmed they had reached an agreement with Barcelona for the transfer of Coutinho. His transfer fee was reported to be an initial £105 million, which could rise to £142 million with various clauses being met. In his first season, Coutinho was unable to represent the club in the Champions League which restricted his game time to La Liga and Copa Del Rey. Coutinho contributed to 13 goals in La Liga and 3 goals in Copa Del Rey in his first season which left the fans gasping for more.
But this season, Coutinho's numbers dried up. He has scored only 5 goals and assisted 2 times in La Liga at the time of writing. He is mostly invisible during large parts of the game and offers nothing going forward. He lacks the pace to help the club on the counter and defensively he is more of a liability. It's not that Valverde has not used him in the right way. Coutinho always starts on the left wing but drifts back and forms a part of a 4-man midfield when Barcelona are without the ball. When the defense wins the ball back, they supply it to Coutinho who from there takes the ball forward and drifts inside trying to create chances for his teammates or takes long range shots by himself. This is very similar to what he used to do at Liverpool. So for the club and the fans its been really disappointing to see Coutinho play at such a low level even after providing him a similar game environment he used to enjoy so much at Liverpool.
After the game against Liverpool at Anfield, the Spanish press gave him a 0 rating for his disastrous performance. Given that Coutinho has been given enough time to prove himself at the club, he has failed to nail a spot in the starting XI and the fans favouring Dembele over him it might be advisable for Barcelona to sell Coutinho and cut their losses.