Philippe Coutinho might make his Aston Villa debut this Saturday.
Coutinho joined Villa on a season-long loan agreement last week, with Barcelona temporarily relocating the midfielder in order to decrease their wage bill.
Since his big-money move to Barcelona in 2018, the Brazilian has been underwhelmed, and the Blaugrana needed to save money on his salary in order to recruit new signing Ferran Torres.
Barcelona will continue to pay a chunk of Coutinho’s salary, but Aston Villa will cover more than half of it, and they could see him for the first time this weekend when they face Manchester United.
Steven Gerrard, the Villa manager, has stated that both Coutinho and former Barcelona midfielder Lucas Digne – who joined Everton recently – are fit and ready to play at Villa Park on Saturday evening.
Coutinho, on the other hand, is expected to start on the bench due to his lack of match fitness.
“They are both available and in contention for tomorrow,” he said in his pre-match press conference.
“He’s (Coutinho) not match fit because he’s been doing a lot of individual training at Barcelona and he also had a Covid situation.
“It’s great to have him, it’s my job to get him settled in and enjoying his football again.”