By Alan Hutton

17th May, 2022 | 1:57pm

Philippe Coutinho: This is what Aston Villa players are saying behind the scenes as 'incredible' deal done - Hutton

Alan Hutton has revealed Philippe Coutinho has had a major impact on the Aston Villa squad after penning a permanent deal with the club.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa defender lifted the lid on conversations he has had with other players about the 29-year-old.

Villa confirmed last week (12 May) that Coutinho has signed a permanent deal running until 2026 after impressing on loan.

Barcelona revealed the Villans paid £16.8million (€20million) for the Brazilian.

Hutton, who still has close ties to the Villa dressing room from his playing days, branded it an “incredible signing”.

He revealed Coutinho’s influence extends beyond the football pitch.

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Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “It’s an incredible signing, to be quite honest with you. It just shows you the ambition of the club moving forward.

“He’s obviously a talented player. I know from speaking to the players how highly they respect him on and off the pitch. He definitely raises the standards.

“What’s happened is Villa have had to be patient. It’s 17 appearances, four goals and three assists. That’s after him not playing a lot of football. He’s going to have a little bit of up and down time.

“Him going into a new season, with a pre-season under his belt, knowing he’s going to be a starter, I think he’s only going to get better. I think Steven Gerrard can get the best out of him as well.

“I think it shows how much Coutinho has fallen in love with the club and that he wants to be there. Both sides have given up on certain things to make this happen.”

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