Since making his loan move to Bayern Munich from FC Barcelona at the end of August, Philippe Coutinho has settled into the squad quite well and has already featured twice in the Bundesliga for Die Roten. The Brazilian joined a list comprised of Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Fiete Arp, Ivan Perisic, and Michaël Cuisance as Bayern’s summer signings and, like Perisic, Coutinho came to the club on a one-year loan.
Bayern Munich's summer signings— Goal (@goal) September 4, 2019
Lucas Hernandez | €80m
Benjamin Pavard | €35m
Michael Cuisance | €12m
Jann-Fiete Arp | €3m
Philippe Coutinho | Loan
Ivan Perisic | Loan pic.twitter.com/eoaZAYQlDS
Coutinho has already shown positive flashes in his first two Bayern performances against Schalke 04 and Mainz 05, respectively. Coutinho seems to already be well-liked by all of his teammates and has been welcomed with a warmness that has helped him integrate very quickly. Speaking to Sky Sports (via MARCA) recently, Pavard described his Brazilian teammate as “a little magician,” perhaps unaware that his nickname had already been coined during his time with Liverpool:
He’s a little magician. He’s a good, modest and friendly person, in addition to being a good footballer.
Additionally, Pavard added that he feels Coutinho will only get better for Bayern, especially considering how late he joined the squad and how good he’s looked already:
He is not yet at 100 percent, he probably needs more matches because he joined the team late. I’m sure in a few weeks we’ll see the world-class footballer that he is.
Pavard may or may not have already been aware of Coutinho’s nickname, but for what it’s worth, it’s refreshing to see how much the players in the squad are backing the Brazilian playmaker. His stint with Barcelona surely would’ve put at least a slight dent in his confidence, especially coming off of such an influential five-and-a-half seasons with Liverpool, where he was arguably one of the best players in the squad prior to Mohamed Salah’s incredible 2017-2018 season. Robert Lewandowski also recently praised Coutinho, saying that he can be “the key” for Bayern this season, lauding his creative ability in the attacking third:
His final pass is crazy. He can be the key and the x-factor in important games, especially in the Champions League. We are more unpredictable because of him; that makes us more dangerous. He can play the 10, on the left wing, and even on the right in a pinch. We can play with one or two 6’s, with a 10 or two 8’s. We now have more options.
The prospect of Coutinho and Lewandowski linking up throughout the season is mouth watering and mark my words: these two will definitely combine for at least a handful of goals this season.