Spanish football expert has written about Philippe Coutinho's recent form at Barcelona

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - La Liga

It's fair to say Philippe Coutinho was pretty desperate to sign for Barcelona.

Throughout his twilight months at Liverpool, it was clear that Coutinho's thoughts were elsewhere and he did everything in his power to force through a move to Catalonia.

Believe it or not, that was almost one year ago to the day and Coutinho has garnered plenty of appearances at the Nou Camp for people to start forming their opinions about the move.

Besides, there was speculation that the Brazilian could be a long-term replacement for the legendary Andres Iniesta and lest we forget that his transfer fee totalled at a remarkable £142 million.

Twelve months down the line, though, and Coutinho has plenty of people in Spain scratching their heads.

Worries about Coutinho

He made a promising start to life with the Blaugrana, scoring 10 goals in his opening 22 appearances, including a superb hat-trick against Levante.

However, the 2018-19 campaign hasn't been so kind for the 26-year-old and he only has four La Liga goals and a single assist to his name at the halfway stage.

It's led to plenty of criticism from Barcelona supporters and it was noticed very recently that Coutinho was being slammed across the club's multiple forums.

FC Internazionale v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Group B

Football writer gives his verdict

That's all well and good, but the opinions of supporters can often exaggerate things and now Spanish football writer Richard Martin has penned his thoughts with Reuters.

The article is titled: "One year on, Coutinho struggling to justify record move to Barca," and it summed up the angle rather well.

In a verdict picked up by the likes of AS and Eurosport, he reflected: "Barcelona shelled out a club record 160 million euros to prise Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, yet one year on from his signing, the Brazilian is struggling to get a game while his former side are thriving in his absence.

"His impact has waned.

"He has failed to start any of the La Liga leaders’ last three league games, falling behind Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal and French forward Ousmane Dembele in the pecking order.

"It is quite the fall from grace for a player many believed was signed as the long-term successor to Andres Iniesta, who ended 16 trophy-laden seasons with Barca last May to see out his career in Japan.

"With Liverpool sitting four points clear at the top of the Premier League, Coutinho may be wondering on Sunday’s anniversary of his transfer from Anfield to the Nou Camp whether it was quite the dream move he had imagined at the time."

Liverpool v Swansea City - Premier League

Martin goes on to explain how Ernesto Valverde much prefers a front three featuring Dembele, despite his problems away from the pitch.

And when you're lower in the pecking order than a player who's turning up late, it goes to show how Coutinho's impact upon Barcelona has steadily decreased.

So, it seems the Barcelona supporters are pretty spot on when it comes to their verdict.

Do you think Coutinho will turn things around at Barcelona? Have your say in the comments section below.

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