Philippe Coutinho Signs for Bayern Munich on Season-Long Loan from Barcelona

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

Brazil's Philippe Coutinho warms up prior to a Copa America semifinal soccer match against Argentina at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

Bayern Munich completed the loan signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona on Monday. 

The Barcelona Twitter account confirmed the move:

FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona

Agreement with @FCBayern for the loan of @Phil_Coutinho More details: https://t.co/YWy78OmRnU https://t.co/6J5DN00SmC

In an accompanying statement, Barcelona said Bayern will pay €8.5 million to loan Coutinho for the season and have the option of making the transfer permanent for €120 million.

Bayern posted the following video welcoming their new signing:

FC Bayern English @FCBayernEN

#ServusCoutinho! 👋😊🇧🇷 ➡️ https://t.co/dYTK6kjTJB https://t.co/Sz7LTFwNvw

He departs Barca after fewer than two years, having moved to the Camp Nou from Liverpool in January 2018 for a club-record fee of £142 million.

Despite his price tag, the 27-year-old failed to earn a guaranteed first-team spot under Blaugrana manager Ernesto Valverde; 12 of his 34 La Liga appearances in 2018-19 came from the bench.

He was largely underwhelming when he did get a run in the side.

Coutinho was an integral part of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool team and a huge fan favourite at Anfield.

But he never really settled at the Camp Nou, and his performances against his former side in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals last season were indicative of his declining reputation at Barcelona:

James Pearce @JamesPearceLFC

Coutinho hauled off again. He's been utterly appalling.

That does not mean he is a spent force, though. At 27, he is in the peak years of his career, and he will be a fine signing for Bayern if he can rediscover the form he had at Liverpool.

After opting against signing James Rodriguez on a permanent deal from Real Madrid this summer after a two-year loan, Bayern have a dearth of natural creativity in their midfield. Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben also left the club at the end of last season, meaning Munich have lost two consistently productive players in wide areas.

Coutinho has been at his best when playing as a No. 10 or on the left flank, where he can cut inside and make contributions in the final third. His vision, dribbling skill and ability to hit the target from distance made him a huge success when on Merseyside.

The Brazilian will be disappointed at the manner in which his Barcelona career has panned out. However, Bayern's interest in him after a tough spell is indicative of the quality Coutinho possesses, and he'll be hopeful a new set of challenges can be a catalyst for a return to form.