Arjen Robben Talks Philippe Coutinho, Says New Bayern Signing Is 'World-Class'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2019

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 18, 2019 Bayern Munich's Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben celebrates with the trophy after the German First division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt in Munich, southern Germany. - Robben announced the end of his professional football career on July 4, 2019. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
JOHN MACDOUGALL/Getty Images

Former Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben believes the club have secured a "world-class" footballer in Philippe Coutinho.

Coutinho's loan move from Barcelona to Bayern was confirmed on Monday, with the Brazil international leaving the Camp Nou after a torrid season-and-a-half. The Bundesliga side have the option to make the transfer permanent for a fee of €120 million should they wish.

Coutinho has taken the shirt number that Robben made famous at the Allianz Arena in recent years, and the Dutchman said the jersey's new incumbent is a fine acquisition for the German champions, per Chris Burton of Goal:

"I got a very nice call from Brazzo [Hasan Salihamidzic], he told me Coutinho wanted the 10. I replied that I only want the best for the club and if the 10 is good for him, that's great and they have to do it.

"Coutinho is a world-class player, he will certainly help the club. A super transfer. He will need some time, but with his skills he will go for it."

The arrival of Coutinho adds more depth to the midfield positions at Bayern. Manager Niko Kovac has a number of high-quality operators to choose from in this facet of the field:

Bayern supporters will be hoping they get the Coutinho who lit up English football in his time at Liverpool, not the one who failed to shine in La Liga.

When he was at Anfield, the playmaker was a joy to watch. Whether tucked in on the left side or playing in a more central area, Coutinho was always dangerous, as he could saunter past challenges, open up spaces for team-mates and shoot from distance, too.

At Barcelona, he struggled to stamp his authority on games, although since his arrival at the club, the team fared better when he's featured:

BT Sport Football looked back at some of his best moments in European competition in the past:

The midfielder will hope a move to a club like Bayern will be a catalyst to his getting back to those levels.

The German club won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal last season, but they struggled in the UEFA Champions League, eliminated by eventual winners Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Per Goal's Ronan Murphy, Coutinho has said winning the European Cup with Bayern is an ambition:

That's something Robben did in his time at the club, scoring a dramatic winner in the 2012-13 final against Borussia Dortmund. The winger is a Munich legend for that goal alone, but he also won eight domestic titles during his time in the German capital.

Like Coutinho, Robben moved to Bayern after his big-money transfer to a La Liga side—the Dutchman joined Real Madrid in 2007—didn't quite work out as planned. If the Brazilian wants to reignite his career, the man who formerly wore the Bayern No. 10 jersey is a fine example to follow.

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