Pundit: This is the real reason Aston Villa sealed 'amazing' Coutinho deal
Kevin Phillips has suggested Steven Gerrard “used his influence” to lure Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa.
The former Villa hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 29-year-old could be an “amazing signing” if Gerrard can coax the best out of him.
Yesterday (7 January), Aston Villa confirmed Coutinho will spend the rest of the season on loan at the Midlands club.
The Villa Park side have an option to buy the Brazil international at the end of the temporary spell.
Phillips suggested the role of the Gerrard will have been crucial to getting the “coup” over the line.
“You can only put it down to one thing, and that’s Steven Gerrard – it’s as simple as that,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.
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“No disrespect to Dean Smith, but I don’t think we’d have seen Coutinho at Villa if he was in charge.
“Gerrard has obviously used his influence to get him in, they were obviously teammates at Liverpool. I’d imagine he was on the phone with him, telling Coutinho about all of the top players they have and what kind of role he could play.
“Wow, what a coup for Aston Villa, as long as they get the Coutinho we saw before in the Premier League. I imagine it will take him some time to get up to scratch, especially at this stage of the season when everyone is fully fit.
“If Gerrard can get the best out of him, it will prove to be an amazing signing for Aston Villa.”
Gerrard and Coutinho will reunite in the Premier League once more after the pair enjoyed two years together from 2013 to 2015 as Liverpool players.