Coutinho was a surprise absentee from the matchday squad as Unai Emery’s Aston Villa beat Manchester United 3-1 in the Spaniard’s first game at the helm on Sunday.
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Bassey, who can play at left-back or centre-half, has enjoyed a remarkable rise over the last six months and was a standout performer as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men made it to the Europa League final.
Goals from Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho had given Aston Villa a surprise two-goal lead at the Etihad. But City fought back with midfielder Ilkay Gundogan getting a goal back with a header in the 76th minute, followed by a goal by Rodri two minutes later and a third by Gundogan in the 81st minute.
The 29-year-old has been on loan at Villa Park since January, having reunited with former Liverpool teammate and current Villa boss Steven Gerrard during the winter transfer window.
Sport said the attacker has struggled with life at Barcelona ever since he left Liverpool for the Nou Camp back in 2018.
The 29-year-old left Barcelona Football Club in Spain in January for Aston Villa in the English Premier League on-loan.
United had just taken a 2-0 lead, thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ second goal of the game, when Coutinho entered as a substitute to loud cheers at Villa Park.
Aston Villa will pay around half Coutinho’s salary for the duration of the deal, which will expire in the summer.
Recall that Coutinho has been heavily linked with a move back to the Premier League in recent transfer windows, having seen form and fitness affect his first-team chances at Camp Nou since joining from Liverpool.
The 29-year-old has struggled to kick-start his Barca career since his expensive arrival from Liverpool in 2018, mainly due to injury problems that have brought inconsistencies to his performances.
The Mirror claimed Barcelona have set a deadline of Wednesday for Arsenal to decide on their plan for Coutinho.
The 29-year-old is surplus to requirements at Camp Nou and is widely expected to leave next month, as the Catalan giants attempt to reduce their wage bill.
The 29-year-old spent five years with the Reds before joining the Catalan giants in 2018 for around £142m, but his time at Camp Nou has failed to live up to the heights expected, largely due to injury.
The 29-year-old scored in his side’s 3-1 win over Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday and has made 13 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan giants this season.
“Sergio Agüero was struggling with chest pain for much of the first half and was replaced by Philippe Coutinho at half time and then taken to hospital for cardiac analysis,” Barcelona said in a statement.
Coutinho, 29, was sidelined by a knee injury, but has recently resumed playing regularly with Barcelona FC.
Coutinho, 28, started the game on the bench and came on in the second half but limped off the pitch during stoppage time as Barcelona finished the game with 10 men having made all their substitutions.
The injury was sustained in the draw against Eibar and is focused on the external meniscus of the player’s left knee.
A statement from Barca on Sunday said the Brazilian was unavailable due to the injury, without saying when he would return to action.
Messi helped set up Philippe Coutinho, back from his loan at Bayern Munich, for the first goal after 21 minutes.