By Frank McAvennie

15th Sep, 2022 | 10:37am

Pundit: This may be real reason for Philippe Coutinho struggles at Aston Villa after confirmed news

Frank McAvennie has claimed Aston Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho no longer has the “fire in his belly”.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former West Ham striker said Coutinho has “enough money” that he’s “not bothered” about playing football anymore.

As reported by Sky Sports (9 September), the 30-year-old was left out of the Brazil international squad for their upcoming pre-World Cup friendlies.

The midfielder has not been called up for games against Ghana and Tunisia.

Coutinho was on the bench for the 1-1 draw with Man City in the last round of Premier League fixtures (3 September).

When asked what the reason for the midfielder’s slow start could be, McAvennie told Football Insider: “The team’s not been playing well.

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I’m not going to have a go at somebody like Steven Gerrard but the team doesn’t look like they know what they’re doing. From what I hear about other players now you’ve got to tell them what to do. You’ve got to show them things, which I think is a bit of a nonsense. I think Gerrard has to do that, show people where to play.

I don’t know what the answer is. Coutinho is a good player, maybe now that he’s got that much money he’s not bothered. He doesn’t seem to have the hunger. He looks to me that he’s not got that fire in his belly.

In other news, a pundit has claimed John McGinn could be axed as new details emerge at Aston Villa.