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Philippe Coutinho gets football fans talking with performance during Levante 2-1 Barcelona

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Barcelona must have thought they were on to a winner when they signed Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool for £142m last year.

Coutinho, who was 25 years old at the time, had established himself as Liverpool's star player and one of the Premier League's finest.

But since moving to Spain the Brazil international's performance levels have dropped - big time.

Not only have the goals and assists dried up for Coutinho, but he's started a lot of games from the bench and underwhelmed when brought on by Ernesto Valverde.

His struggles in Catalonia were recently detailed by Spanish football writer Richard Martin in an article titled: "One year on, Coutinho struggling to justify record move to Barca."

Martin explained that Coutinho's impact has waned at Barcelona while Liverpool, his former club, have thrived in his absence. He's fallen down the pecking order as a result.

In fact, Martin believes a small part of Coutinho must be regretting joining Barcelona and questioning whether it was really a dream move.

Rumours are now circulating that Barca could sell Coutinho in order to fund a return for Neymar this summer, which would be the ultimate embarrassment for the 26-year-old.

Levante v FC Barcelona - Copa del Rey Round of 16

And things for got even worse for him on Thursday night as he produced a woeful performance away to Levante in the Copa del Rey.

Barcelona lost the game 2-1 and Coutinho, who started out wide, misplaced a number of passes and failed to make a real impact.

He was so bad against Levante that even neutral fans were reacting on Twitter by saying Barcelona were robbed by paying £142m to Liverpool, even if he did score a penalty late on.

It's hard to argue with them. Liverpool made a huge profit from the Coutinho deal and one year on are top of the Premier League, whereas Barcelona have a £142m flop on their hands.

Topics:
Football
Philippe Coutinho
La Liga
Barcelona
Liverpool

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