Chelsea have been linked to Barcelona’s on-loan star Philippe Coutinho, but would he be a significant improvement to Mason Mount?
The 27-year-old, who at the moment still is still waiting to end his loan spell at Bayern Munich, has been offered to a number of clubs including Chelsea, according to a report from Sky Sports on Thursday.
Some Chelsea fans believe the Brazilian playmaker’s potential arrival at Stamford Bridge would be a major upgrade to Frank Lampard’s attacking options.
Former Premier League midfielder Jamie Redknapp, however, has advised Lampard against splashing the reported £79m Barcelona would want for Coutinho.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Football Show, he said: “I don’t see this as a goer, it’s an awful lot of money. Coutinho is a super-talented player but he doesn’t get enough goals.
“Chelsea have Mason Mount there and a lot of trust has been given to the young players who are coming through at Stamford Bridge.
“The way Chelsea have been going for the last year or so, I just don’t see them going to spend £79m on a player.
“Coutinho is talented, but why would you want to risk preventing someone like Mount, who is going to be a top-class player, having the opportunities himself?”
How does Coutinho compare to Mount?
Although Mount and Coutinho is not exactly the same type of players, they play in similar positions.
Coutinho has mostly been deployed as a number 10 (17 times), on the left flank (five times) and as centre midfielder (four times) at Bayern this season (Whoscored).
Meanwhile, Mount has played as a number 10 16 times, as centre midfielder 12 times and on the left flan three times (Whoscored).
And statistically, the Brazil international has not done much better than Mount (in respective leagues).
Coutinho has averaged 2.6 shots, 1.4 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per game in Bundesliga this term, while Mount has had 2.3 shots, 1.5 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game in the Premier League.
In terms of final products, Coutinho’s eight goals and six assists have indeed had the edge over Mount’s six goals and four assists.
But it should be taken into consideration that Coutinho plays for the dominating Bayern side in Bundesliga.
Most of his goals have had little to no impact to Bayern’s results; scoring two when Bayern thrashed Hoffenheim 6-0 in February, scored a hat-trick in Bayern’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen in December, and so on.
As Redknapp mentioned, Coutinho is surely talented, but would it be wise to spend over £75m while Chelsea have an exciting young talent in Mount?
In the “old market”, £75-80m for Coutinho wouldn’t be a bad idea, especially if Chelsea could seal a loan deal with an option to buy to assess the decision for a season.
But with the current climate of the football market, perhaps allocating the budgets on a left-back and a striker (as Olivier Giroud could leave this summer) would be a wiser choice.