Philippe Coutinho, the newcomer to Bayern, could become the best soccer player in the Bundesliga. Nevertheless, his change does not only reveal good things about the concept of Bayern.
It was a fantastic day for FC Bayern, although not everything went smoothly. The club proudly announced on Monday that it had signed Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho from FC Barcelona. The press release stated that “the parties had agreed not to disclose financial details”. Barcelona, on the other hand, announced at almost the same time that the rental fee was 8.5 million euros and the purchase option 120 million euros. FC Bayern was also paying Coutinho’s salary, which was 12 million euros net in Barcelona and probably not much less in Munich. In Germany the Bayern are often champions, internationally they lack.
But these were questions of detail or style. Coutinho could become the exceptional soccer player of the Bundesliga. Nevertheless, the conditions of his move to Munich do not only reflect the principles about the sporting concept of Bayern and the international status of the club.
According to Arjen Robben
No doubt about it, a star will be in the Bundesliga. Coutinho is a champion player. He can fit and shoot effectively; he is fast too. Almost all defenders will have big problems with him. In narrow spaces around the opponent’s penalty area, he finds the bottlenecks and slips through them. One of his favourite movements is reminiscent of Arjen Robben, only from the other side: He pulls into the middle from the left with speed and shoots with the right and often into the goal. Coutinho can also play in the centre.
“For Dortmund, it’s not quite so nice, but for Bayern and the Bundesliga it’s a great transfer,” said Jürgen Klopp, who trained Coutinho in Liverpool before moving to Barcelona for 145 million euros. Hans-Joachim Watzke, Managing Director of BVB, also congratulated the Bayern. And Julian Brandt from Dortmund said he was a “huge fan” of Coutinho.
Bayern ‘s sports director Hasan Salihamidžić, who has recently been criticised, has improvised well. Leroy Sané was the original goal of the Bayern’s, but he injured himself before one learned whether the Bayerns had got him. With Coutinho, the eighth German championship in a row has become a lot more likely for the FCB.
But the transfer also has another side. It shows that the Bayerns are not at the front, but have to clean up afterwards. Sané could have been brought in by the club three years ago, back then for 50 million euros. But only Pep Guardiola recognised its strengths. In the meantime, the Bayern would probably spend three times as much.