Aston Villa seal permanent transfer of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho will likely start against Leeds

Aston Villa has taken another step in their rebuilding project under Steven Gerrard at Villa Park as the club has sealed a full deal for Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho from Spanish giants Barcelona.

Villa boss Steven Gerrard could not have been happier at securing Coutinho's services on a permanent deal after the former Liverpool stalwart had a rip-roaring start to life after his January move, since remaining a key piece under his former teammate.

"This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa. Phil is a model professional and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January."

"With the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch, he’s also a valuable role model for our younger players who can only benefit from his experience."

"As we look to build towards next season, it is incredible to work at a club that executes its business so decisively and smoothly."

Coutinho’s four goals and three assists in Villa colours all brought immense value during a period where the club needed to get out of the doldrums which led to the sacking of former headmaster Dean Smith, though he has gone on a string of successive appearances without a single goal contribution of late.

His inclusion in the first-team came for more reasons than just what he brings to the table in terms of goals and assists, as well, with Villa youngster Jacob Ramsey flourishing in his own right since Coutinho arrived in the midlands. With a deal now completed, Villa will undoubtedly look to continue to strengthen the team under Gerrard as they look to re-establish themselves as a top-half outfit and then some.

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