Coutinho named Barca’s top player after Messi

Philippe Coutinho will be useful for Barcelona this season, insisted coach Ronald Koeman. The club’s record signing could yet leave in the transfer window, but if not he’ll be part of the squad.

“I count on him,” explained the coach.

Philippe Coutinho
Lionel Messi at Barcelona runs after Philippe Coutinho’s goal

“For me, Cou can be an important player for Barca. He played games at the start of last year and then got injured that lasted longer than we hoped for. And yes, I truly count on him for this season, yes.”

Coutinho is not in the squad to face Athletic but unlike Umtiti and Pjanic, he may have a future at Barca.

“Philippe is out because I think that he needs another week to train with the group, before being called up,” added Koeman.

“He’s an important player, he’s effective in his game. He can play in various positions. We need people like him. With Messi we lost a lot of goals and we have to look for goals from the other players.”