Aston Villa: 'Magical' star tipped to become 'as influential as Jack Grealish'

Aston Villa ace Philippe Coutinho has the potential to be ‘as influential as Jack Grealish’ at Villa Park, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

Coutinho headed back to the Premier League on an initial loan deal from Barcelona during the January transfer window, but the agreement includes the option for Villa to make the switch permanent for £33million.

What’s the latest news involving Coutinho?

Coutinho pulled the strings as he grabbed a goal and an assist in Villa’s convincing 4-0 win over Southampton on Saturday.

The Brazilian gem was handed a match rating of 8.7 by WhoScored, which was only bettered by team-mate Danny Ings.

Coutinho’s performance led to former England striker Michael Owen hailing the ex-Liverpool creative midfielder as Villa’s ‘star man’ ahead of Thursday’s trip to Leeds United.

Steven Gerrard, who made Coutinho his first signing following his appointment as the Midlands club’s head coach in November, has confirmed he wants the 66-cap Brazil international to remain at Villa Park on a permanent basis.

That should come as no surprise as Coutinho has found the back of the net three times and registering as many assists in his first seven outings for the club.

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What has Dean Jones said about Coutinho?

Jones believes Coutinho could be the perfect option to fill the void left by former fan favourite Grealish.

While the Brazilian offers different qualities, the transfer insider feels the January arrival has already shown he can take Villa to another level.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “I think he can be as influential as Grealish. I feel it will be slightly different because he’s not going to play with the same intensity, perhaps, as Grealish did.

“But, in terms of having the hunger and the magic to produce the big moments, he has undoubtedly still got it. He is the highest quality player in his side by some distance.”

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How did Grealish perform at Villa?

Grealish came through the ranks at Villa, making close to 50 appearances for the under-23s before progressing into the first-team.

He went on to record 75 goal contributions in 213 outings for the senior side and also played a key role in his boyhood club winning promotion back to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs in 2019.

But the 18-cap England international went on to depart Villa Park last summer, with him shattering the British record transfer fee by completing a £100million move to Manchester City.

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