Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde have drawn up a plan for Philippe Coutinho

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

What's really going wrong for Philippe Coutinho at Barcelona?

Ever since it was drawn to football fans' attention that the former Liverpool man was starting to struggle, it seems things have only gone from bad to worse at the Nou Camp.

Having been criticised for a number of his recent performances, Coutinho sunk to a nadir during the win over Girona with some even suggesting he was 'third-wheeling' on the left wing.

Barcelona fans are starting to grow tired of his showings and suggestions that he will one day replace Andres Iniesta have been all but abandoned.

Nevertheless, Ernesto Valverde is remaining positive and noted at the weekend: "What I like about Coutinho is that he's daring and he's always prepared to take the opposition on.

Coutinho's Barcelona struggles

"He makes things happen. After that, sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don't. He's not converted those chances this time, but he will."

There have been suggestions that things aren't so optimistic when you look behind the scenes, though, and it seems the Blaugrana are drawing up plans to turn Coutinho's form around.

A report by Catalan publication Sport has documented how the 26-year-old has struggled on the left wing and hasn't been deployed centrally since the 2-1 defeat to Levante.

Girona FC v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Ernesto Valverde's plan

It also gave details on Valverde's plan, including his desire to hold crisis talks and take inspiration from other coaches getting the best out of players like Coutinho.

They explain how the Barcelona board have become worried that Valverde has 'thrown in the towel' and that he is no longer able to motivate Coutinho.

The report goes on to read: "Valverde plans to meet with Coutinho to find solutions, as SPORT has revealed.

"The coach's mission is to achieve the effect that other coaches have had with similar players performing in deeper positions.

"At Manchester City, for example, Pep has worked to help De Bruyne and David Silva play well when operating more closely to the pivot.

"For his part, Jürgen Klopp managed to get Coutinho to shine behind Firmino, Salah and Mané, showing a higher level of intensity than he has managed at Barca."

Some pretty concerning stuff but at least Barcelona have a plan in place. 


It's interesting that Valverde could take inspiration from coaches like Guardiola and Klopp, with Coutinho's exact role in the team potentially bearing a major influence on his form.

As long as the Brazilian is playing on the left wing, it's difficult to imagine him reaching the levels that Barcelona expect of him and that's certainly not how he thrived at Barcelona.

If problems persist after these plans, however, don't be surprised if the transfer rumours start to increase in numbers.

Do you think Coutinho has a future at Barcelona? Have your say in the comments section below.

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