Many Liverpool supporters will have wide smiles across their faces due to the issues Barcelona have endured over the last 12 months. The club, who pushed through transfers for Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, is in trouble on and off the pitch.
Last Saturday, Barcelona went 3-0 up on La Liga rival Celta Vigo, only to concede three goals in the second half of the game to draw 3-3. What has not been widely reported is that former Liverpool player Coutinho, who Barcelona have been desperate to get rid of for the last three seasons, refused to play for the team as a substitute.
Spanish media outlet TV3 claims Coutinho refused to come on for Ansu Fati, who suffered an injury and was removed from the game. His refusal to play is a callback to Coutinho’s final few months at Anfield when he reportedly refused to play in the Champions League to push through a transfer to Barcelona. Then, there was a “back injury” that prevented him from playing.
Since moving to the Spanish club, Coutinho’s career has been on a downward spiral. Even having a one-year loan to Bayern Munich, in which Coutinho helped the team win the Champions League, couldn’t interest another team to sign him from Barcelona. Bayern Munich balked at signing Coutinho despite eight goals and six assists being tallied in the Bundesliga in 2019-20.
Coutinho still has 18 months left to run on his current Barcelona contract. The financially strapped club is paying Coutinho €20 million per season according to AS. This is after the Catalans paid €120m for Coutinho in 2018 and coughed up €40m in add-ons.
Liverpool went on to win the Champions League in 2018-19 and the Premier League in 2019-20 thanks in part to selling Coutinho for a small fortune. If Barcelona or any of their fans want to know why the Spanish club is struggling on and off the pitch, they simply need to look at Coutinho and the other underwhelming players the club paid exorbitant fees for — Ousmane Dembele for example.