Opinion: Coutinho would be a cheaper, lower risk alternative to Jadon Sancho
Recent reports suggest Chelsea have made contact with Barcelona over a loan deal for Philippe Coutinho and the play-maker would be a great addition for Frank Lampard next season.
The Brazilian’s loan deal at Bayern Munich is coming to an end and, according to a report from the Metro, the Bundesliga leaders have made it clear they will not activate the clause for a permanent move.
Barcelona brought Coutinho from Liverpool for a staggering fee of £110million, with potential add-ons up to a further £32m.
However, he failed to impress in La Liga, spending only one season there before joining Bayern Munich.
Spanish publication Sport claimed Chelsea are keen to bring the play-maker back to the Premier League and have opened talks with Barcelona and Coutinho’s representatives.
Chelsea reportedly want a similar deal to what Bayern have in place, which means the Blues would pay Coutinho’s wage and pay a season-by-season loan fee.
Based on the report, Bayern are paying around £14m (€15m) a season in loan fees and Chelsea would be willing to pay that.
Although Chelsea have built a war chest for this summer transfer window, looking at the reported price tag of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, bringing Coutinho on loan could be a cheaper, less risky short-term alternative for Lampard’s men.
Why bringing Coutinho on loan makes sense for Chelsea
Firstly, Coutinho has had experience in Premier League football. He had his best season in the Premier League when he had 13 goals and seven assists for Liverpool in 2016/17.
Another reason that would make Coutinho an ideal signing for Chelsea is his goal-scoring threat, which Chelsea have been lacking this season apart from Tammy Abraham.
Coutinho has scored eight goals (and provided six assists) in the Bundesliga this season, with an average of 2.6 shots and 1.4 key passes per game (Whoscored).
Coutinho’s versatility would be the third reason. The Brazilian predominantly played as a number 10 for Bayern but also operated on the left wing on a few occasions.
Based on this season, Lampard seems to see 4-3-3 as his preferred formation, but he also deploys 4-2-3-1 in which Mason Mount is used as the number 10. Coutinho would give Lampard another option for this role.
A loan deal (likely with an option to buy) would put all the power in Chelsea’s hands, similar to previous Mateo Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain’s cases.