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Coutinho vanishes as Barcelona become idealess against Athletic

Coutinho vanishes as Barcelona become idealess against Athletic

Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho has been heavily criticised once more after a dismal performance against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night.

The Brazilian has been under a wave of expectation since the turn of the year, having failed to produce similar form to that of what he showed at English club Liverpool.

Axed from the starting eleven by Ernesto Valverde, who preferred young French international Ousmane Dembele – Coutinho has since found his way back into the side after injury to the speedy winger.

A good performance against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey two weeks ago, saw Barca fans think twice about their £145m signing, but he has since dipped in form once more – failing to be on the same wavelength as Lionel Messi or Luis Suarez.

Social media channels Twitter and Facebook were full of Barca fans heavily criticising Coutinho, questionning why Malcom, who played well against Real Madrid – was not playing in his place.

With Dembele back fully fit now – it is expected that the former Anfield favourite will be relegated to the substitutes bench and out of the team.

Coutinho has two goals and no assists in his last eight games for Barca and is now dropping down Valverde’s preferred option list, being replaced by Carles Alena against the Basque club.

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Time will tell, but it seems this has been a pinnacle week for Coutinho at Barca and one that he has now taken…