Steven Gerrard's reaction to Coutinho leaving Liverpool feels perfect after Villa reunion

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Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard have officially reunited at Aston Villa.

The Villans confirmed on Friday morning that terms had been agreed with Barcelona for the Brazil international to spend the rest of the season back in the Premier League on loan.

Assuming that Coutinho passes his medical and secures a work permit, football fans will be seeing his midfield wizardry back on English shores for the first time since the 2017/18 season.

Coutinho and Gerrard’s special relationship

However, while it’s great to see Coutinho back in the Premier League full stop, there’s no denying that there’s an extra element of romanticism because he’s linking up with Gerrard again.

The pair of Premier League heroes spent two and a half seasons together at Liverpool where they formed a brilliant midfield connection, which almost saw them conquer English football in 2014.

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In the end, the plug was pulled on their electrifying connection in 2015 when Gerrard left Anfield to wind down his career at LA Galaxy, but Coutinho remained on Merseyside for a few more years.

In fact, Gerrard had actually hung up his boots and turned his hand to a stint in punditry by the time that Coutinho completed his monumental £142 million move to Barcelona in January 2018.

And the world of television being the world of television, it was only inevitable that Gerrard was going to be asked about Coutinho’s departure from the club of his heart at the first opportunity.

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Gerrard reacts to Coutinho leaving Liverpool

That very opening transpired when Gerrard was delivering his analysis on the FA Cup with the Liverpool icon delivering a touching reaction to the news that has re-emerged in recent days.

Despite Rio Ferdinand’s best efforts to wind him up by joking that he must be feeling sick, the current Villa boss affectingly said during the broadcast: “I’m still digesting it as a Liverpool fan.

“I’m not surprised. I know Liverpool did everything they could to keep him and they fought very hard to keep him until the summer.

“But, when a kid has got a dream, a South American, and he wants to play for Barcelona and he thinks this is the only opportunity he’s going to get, it’s very difficult to stop it.

“There’s no doubt about it, Liverpool will miss him. He’s a wonderful footballer, a great person. To be fair to him, he hasn’t downed tools at all, so I respect his decision. I wish him all the best.”

They really are lovely words spoken with genuine care and gentleness that only read even more perfectly when you consider that Gerrard and Coutinho have reunited almost seven years later.

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Gerrard and Coutinho’s exchange on Instagram

However, you can rest assured that the pair’s bromance wasn’t limited to comments on BT Sport because Gerrard was also keen to tip his hat on Instagram when the Barcelona move went through.

The Reds legend posted at the time: “It hurts you have left because you are a special player, up there with the best I shared a pitch with.

“I want to wish you @phil.coutinho and your family all the best for the next stage of your career in Barcelona . Thank you for the special moments and memories over the last 5 years. YNWA.”

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In response, Coutinho touchingly wrote in the comments: “Steve, thanks so much for your kind words. It was an honour for me to play with such a legend as yourself.

“I learnt a lot from knowing you. Both off the pitch in my family life and also on the pitch.

“Thank you for all your support and encouragement in my years at Liverpool. Your belief in me helped me become a better player. I wish you and your family the best.”

It just goes to show how quickly things can change in football that the very Barcelona transfer that Gerrard analysed as a pundit has now lead to him managing the very player who was involved in it.

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