Opinion: Is Phillipe Coutinho's place in jeopardy with the arrival of Adrien Rabiot at Barcelona
It appears as though that Paris Saint-Germain contract rebel Adrien Rabiot is on his way to Barcelona. According to reports from Sky Italia and Paris United and as quoted by Spanish outlet Marca, Rabiot will be joining Barcelona in the summer transfer window once his contract expires in June 2019.
Adrien Rabiot has been a long-term target for Barcelona board but Paris Saint-Germain was reluctant to let him go or sell him at any cost. But an opportunity presented itself as Rabiot contract runs out in June 2019 and he has denied signing a contract extension with Paris Saint- Germain.
"The player informed me that he will not be signing a new contract and that he wants to leave the club as a free agent at the end of the season [also the end of his contract]. For the player, the consequences are clear -- he is indefinitely benched." said Paris Saint-Germain Sporting director Antero Henrique as quoted by espn.
Adrien Rabiot suits Barcelona's style of play as he has immense poise on the ball and terrific vision among his other abilities. Although the arrival of a midfielder like Adrien Rabiot is good news to Barcelona, it will come as a warning towards other midfielders fighting for a starting place with the team. One of them is Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho.
According to media outlets like Soccer Laduma and Daily Star, Philippe Coutinho may already be looking for an exit. Even if that is not the case, he will surely be unsettled with increased competition due to the arrival of more midfielders.
Philippe Coutinho arrived at FC Barcelona with huge expectations. After all, he became the most expensive signing for Barcelona in their rich history when he arrived at Camp Nou from Liverpool in January last year.
With Coutinho's arrival, expectations rose among the people associated with the club. The Brazilian midfielder settled in quickly and impressed with his string of good performances. He was touted to fill in the shoes of the great Andres Iniesta after his departure although it's improbable to replace the legendary Spanish genius.
Despite making an immediate impact with the club, Coutinho is enduring tough times of late. While Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are thriving and marching on in the Premier League, Coutinho has failed to make his mark and get his name on the team sheet more often than not in the current 2017/18 season.
With Ousmane Dembele and Arthur Melo flourishing on the left in a three-man midfield, the Brazilian midfielder has recently found himself out of favour under Ernesto Valverde.
Moreover, the reports of Barcelona being interested in another midfielder, Frenkie De Jong, make the case worse as Coutinho may find it extremely hard to get his place back at the starting line up.
It is crystal clear that Philippe Coutinho must be at very best when he gets his chances to leave a mark. The arrival of new signings and especially potential midfielders will increase the squad depth significantly but will increase the competitiveness and insecurity among the star players in the squad.