Looking over their previous transfer windows, it may not have been too much of a surprise to see Aston Villa being rather active in the latest January window.
Throughout the last few weeks, the Midlands club brought in four new players to strengthen Steven Gerrard’s side, with two permanent deals for left-back Lucas Digne for a fee of £25m from Everton and defender Calum Chambers as a free agent from Arsenal.
Villa also managed to secure loan deals for goalkeeper Robin Olsen from AS Roma and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona.
While this would presumably be seen as a successful transfer window for the Villans, one deal, in particular, could be seen as being a big gamble for the club and Gerrard.
Despite having previous experience of playing in the Premier League with Liverpool and having Gerrard as a former teammate, Coutinho’s time as a Barcelona player, which has been universally labelled as being rather unsuccessful, may not only have given Villa the chance to swoop in and bring him back to England, but it will have also increased the risk that came with it.
Having suffered with injury issues and being loaned out from Barcelona to Bayern Munich for a period of time, the Brazilian has only managed to make 106 appearances for the Spanish giants across all competitions since arriving from Liverpool in January 2018.
With that in mind and the fact that Villa are reportedly paying £125k-per-week to have the 29-year-old in their squad, it’s not exactly a cheap risk to be taking either.
With only two appearances under his belt in a Villa shirt, his previous performance in the 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park suggests that it could take some time for the attacker to get back into the swing of things in the Premier League, even if he did bag a debut goal.
However, there is still plenty of time left until the end of the season for Coutinho to find his feet again in England and show why the club were right to take a chance on him.
Although, if he doesn’t live up to expectations and ends the season on a disappointing note whether that be with a lack of goals, assists or positive performances, it will be seen as an expensive gamble that backfired on Gerrard and the club.