Signing “world-class” Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho would put Tottenham back on the map after a poor spell since their Champions League final defeat, according to one pundit.
Having progressed through European football’s elite competition in dramatic circumstances to meet Liverpool in the final last season, Spurs lost and that defeat led to a regression in results.
Then-manager Mauricio Pochettino was sacked in November and while Jose Mourinho brought initial optimism back to the club, his side were winless in six – a run that included five defeats – before the campaign was brought to a halt.
Speaking to Football Insider, former Spurs striker Darren Bent highlighted how unsettled midfielder Coutinho could be the signing that turns the club’s fortunes around.
“That’s the one you’ve got to get, you need them type of signings coming through the door because he is definitely somebody who is exciting, can do good things,” Bent said.
“He’s that world-class name that people will be like: ‘Okay, Spurs are taking it seriously.’
“You look at last season, we thought they were linked with a couple of superstars – Coutinho, [Paulo] Dybala – and they couldn’t get it over the line.
“Were they really interested in getting these players in or was it just to appease the crowd?
“But obviously, if they can somehow get this guy in the door, then what a signing that is.”
Coutinho moved to Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018 but struggled to settle in his first season and a half in Catalonia, before being sent out on loan to Bayern Munich this term.
The playmaker has endured mixed form in the German top flight and reports have suggested that he will angle for another loan spell in the summer rather than stay in Spain.
While Arsenal and Chelsea have been touted as potential destinations, Coutinho is believed to have ruled out a move to Spurs after a transfer to the club last summer fell through.
In other news, another pundit has backed Mourinho’s criticism of Spurs midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.
Mourinho urged the club’s record signing to do “much better” in a public showing of criticism against the Frenchman earlier this month.