Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Jamie Carragher warns Coutinho against ‘reckless’ Aston Villa decision

Philippe Coutinho celebrating an Aston Villa goal

Philippe Coutinho has been warned not to make a “reckless” decision by failing to sign for Aston Villa on a permanent basis by Jamie Carragher.

Coutinho is currently on loan at Aston Villa from Barcelona. After a few frustrating years since his Liverpool exit, he finally looks to be enjoying his football again. Indeed, he already has two goals and two assists from his first three Villa appearances.

Villa will have the option to make Coutinho’s transfer permanent in the summer. It would be beneficial for a Barcelona side who have been trying desperately to offload him – and also for Villa if he keeps contributing the way he has been doing so far.

But Coutinho will have to take a wage cut if he is to extend his Villa stay beyond these six months. They are not paying his full salary while he is on loan from Barcelona.

Now, though, he has been advised by Carragher – whose path he crossed briefly during his Liverpool days – to stick with Villa as long as he remains in this form.

“It is rare for any footballer to go through a career without having some regrets,” Carragher wrote for the Daily Telegraph.

“Every decision can have an impact on the short and long-term future.

Arsenal number one target this summer is Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa

Arsenal number one target this summer is Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa

Douglas Luiz is Arsenal’s prime target this summer as Aston Villa willing to let him go

“Given what has happened since 2018, it would be strange if Coutinho has not often wished to turn back the clock and take a different path.

“If the positive early signs are a taste of what is to come, he may have a familiar dilemma should Villa seek a permanent £33m deal come the summer.

“To walk away from a club where the fans and manager adore him once would be careless. Doing it again would be reckless.”

Coutinho credited for ‘brave’ Villa move

Philippe Coutinho on his second Premier Lague debut for Aston Villa against Manchester United at Villa Park

Still only 29 years old, there is time yet for Coutinho to get his career back on track.

Moving to Villa may represent a step backwards to take others forward for some, which is why Carragher thinks the Brazilian has been brave to pick them.

“There are obvious reasons why the deal looks right for all parties, but – and I mean this with all due respect to Villa – it is still brave of Coutinho to make such a move,” he added.

“He is a Brazil international who believes his natural home is at a Champions League club, not somewhere where finishing in the top 10 this season will represent excellent progress.

“Without [Steven] Gerrard, there is no way Coutinho joins Villa. It is a positive sign that his priority is to fall back in love with football, working for a coach who understands him and knows what makes him tick.”

READ MOREAston Villa muscle in on Tottenham move for Serie A heavyweight; current star could make way