"I am very happy, it is a dream come true and I hope to meet all expectations in the field."
The words of Philippe Coutinho after he completed his £146 million move to Barcelona from Liverpool just over a year ago.
The Brazilian playmaker was desperate to join the Catalan giants and was finally able to realise his dream after the Reds agreed to grant him his wish.
It seemed that Barça had finally sealed the services of a world-class forward capable of filling the void left by his old friend and compatriot Neymar, who had joined Paris Saint-Germain six months earlier.
And the early signs were reasonably promising. Coutinho impressed early on and appeared to have settled in with consummate ease playing alongside Lionel Messi and co.
During his first half-season, Coutinho scored 10 goals in 22 appearances. Not bad stats, by any means.
However, Coutinho’s second season at the Camp Nou has been more difficult than anybody could have anticipated.
The South American has regularly flattered to deceive - particularly in big matches - over recent months.
There have been moments when he’s produced the odd glimpse of quality but, on the whole, he’s looked a shadow of his former self. His confidence is currently shot to pieces.
The former Premier League star had an opportunity to endear himself to the Barça supporters against the club’s fierce rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.
With Lionel Messi only fit enough to make the bench, the hosts needed inspiration from their most expensive player.
However, once again he failed to turn up.
The Clasico is one of those fixtures where people who don’t usually watch Barcelona or Real Madrid tune in to watch.
And most of them couldn’t believe just how lost and out of place Coutinho currently looks at Barça.
Coutinho was signed by Barça partly to ease the burden on Messi, but it hasn’t worked out so far.
The burden is still firmly on Messi’s shoulders and it was no surprise when Ernesto Valverde withdrew the Brazilian for the Argentine with just under 30 minutes remaining.
It’s getting to the point where you have to wonder if the relationship between Barcelona and Coutinho will come to an end sooner rather than later.News Now - Sport News