January 6, 2019 marked the one year anniversary of Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona.
The Spanish giants paid Liverpool a basic fee of £106 million for the playmaker, with an extra £36m in variables meaning they could end up paying £142m.
Yet some at Barcelona might be regretting the decision to spend such an incredible amount of money on Coutinho.
The Brazilian has been unable to cement a regular spot in Ernesto Valverde’s starting line-up.
In Valverde’s 4-3-3 system, Ousmane Dembele is preferred to Coutinho in attack while Arturo Vidal gets the nod in midfield.
It’s meant that Coutinho has managed just nine starts in La Liga this season.
He came off the bench for the seventh time in the 2-1 win against Getafe on Sunday, coming on to replace Dembele in the 84th minute.
Coutinho's 'braindead' moment v Getafe
Yet in that short amount of time, Coutinho still managed to do something that was labelled ‘braindead’ by a Barcelona fan.
It came in the second minute of injury time, after the 26-year-old received a pass from Ivan Rakitic.
Lionel Messi was in space ahead of Coutinho but instead of passing to his teammate, Coutinho instead started dribbling towards Messi’s position.
Messi had to step aside and the Brazil international was dispossessed of the ball.
Twitter user @AlexTruica posted four screenshots highlighting the moment. He wrote: “Could‘ve just passed it to Messi. Instead, he dribbles towards him, for no reason. Use your brain for God’s sake, Coutinho.”
Coutinho was clearly trying to make something happen. Perhaps he feels as if he has to do something magical to impress Valverde.
But his best decision at that moment was to pass to Messi. It was the simple option and would have continued the attack.
Spanish publication AS recently penned a piece that explored Coutinho’s year at the Camp Nou.
It didn’t make for great reading.
“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,” AS wrote.
“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.”