Philippe Coutinho could affect Harry Kane's role at Tottenham

Barcelona midfielder Phillipe Coutinho

Reports from Spain have suggested that Tottenham could potentially be Phillipe Coutinho’s next club. 

What’s the latest on Coutinho?

Last season, the Brazilian spent the year on loan at Bayern Munich. However, prior to joining the Bavarian club, Tottenham were interested in bringing Coutinho to north London. 

Now that the 63-cap international has returned to Barcelona, it’s being reported that Spurs could be a likely destination for Coutinho this summer. 

According to (as summarised in English by Sports Witness) the Lilywhites are a “possible destination” for the former Liverpool man.

In addition to this, a sense of déjà vu may be in the air, as the deal would likely be very similar to that of Gareth Bale’s – with Coutinho moving to Spurs in a high-profile loan. 

Another Bale-style swoop for Daniel Levy?

The Welsh international made a return to the north London club for the 2020/21 season in a year-long loan deal. 

The Real Madrid star is currently on a whopping £600,000-a-week contract and Levy struck a deal with Los Blancos where Spurs would pay half of his wage. 

Bale is expected to return to Spain at the end of the campaign, but the suggestion from Fichajes is that Coutinho could ultimately take his place as a marquee loan signing for the Lilywhites next season. 

How has Coutinho fared since leaving Liverpool?

When Coutinho earned his £142m move to Barcelona, he had the world at his feet. However, it’s safe to say that his dream move hasn’t gone according to plan. 

The former Red made 90 appearances between 2017 and 2019 for Barca and only managed 23 goals, which isn’t a great return considering his sizeable transfer fee. 

Barcelona opted to send Coutinho on loan to Bayern for the 2019/20 season, where the attacking midfielder won the treble, including the Champions League.

This year, Coutinho returned to Catalonia but his season suffered a significant blow in December, as he sustained a ruptured meniscus. He hasn’t played since the injury but was expected to return prior to the end of the season. 

However, the South American had surgery this week.

Can Coutinho and Kane co-exist in the same team?

Kane has been a stand-out player in the Premier League this season, recording 32 goal contributions in 30 games. 

The striker can credit a large part of his success to the fact that he drops deeper into the number ten position, which has resulted in Kane recording 13 Premier League assists – the most in the division. 

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has highlighted how Kane being used in this position has added yet another threatening element to his game. 

But this area of the pitch is ultimately where Phillipe Coutinho thrives most – we saw the Brazilian score an array of long-distance strikes for Liverpool from the pocket between the attack and the midfield. 

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Who is this former Spurs man?

Which begs the question of whether Coutinho and Kane can coexist in the same team. Tellingly, Coutinho’s failed to make his mark at Barcelona while trying to gel with another world-class attacker who likes that space behind the striker as well – a certain Lionel Messi.

Of course, Kane is a lot more adaptable and can easily play as a conventional centre-forward. But if Spurs are to bring a natural No.10 like Coutinho to the club, that may well bring an abrupt end to Kane’s days as a striker who drops into midfield.

Whether that’s wise or not remains another matter. 

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