Coutinho to Bayern Munich: How the Bundesliga champions could line up

By Sports Desk August 19, 2019

Philippe Coutinho has endured a difficult spell at Barcelona, but now the Brazil playmaker has the chance to reignite his career at Bayern Munich.

Bayern and Barca representatives confirmed on Friday that a deal had been agreed for Coutinho to join the Bundesliga champions on a season-long loan deal and the move was officially completed on Monday.

There is also an option for Bayern to buy the former Liverpool star outright for €120million at the end of the loan.

While some Bayern fans were underwhelmed with the signing of Ivan Perisic as an alternative to Leroy Sane - whose anterior cruciate ligament injury has ended the chances of an imminent move for the Manchester City winger - Coutinho's arrival will surely soften the blow should the 27-year-old recapture his Liverpool form.

Below, we analyse how Bayern could line up in 2019-20.
 

4-2-3-1: Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez, David Alaba; Corentin Tolisso, Thiago Alcantara; Serge Gnabry, Philippe Coutinho, Kingsley Coman; Robert Lewandowski.

Coutinho's ability to not only thread sublime throughballs behind the lines, but also unleash wicked shots from range, makes him the perfect fit to play behind Lewandowski.

Niko Kovac is blessed with two rapid wingers in the form of Gnabry and Coman, who will be able to stretch the opposition and open up space for Coutinho to exploit in the centre.

While Thiago can sit as a deep-lying playmaker, Corentin Tolisso has the energy to get up in support of the front line, which would also enable Coutinho to drop back into midfield and use his dribbling skills to drive upfield.

4-3-3: Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez, David Alaba; Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez, Philippe Coutinho; Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, Ivan Perisic.

Potentially a system that would be suitable for big European nights, Bayern could deploy Coutinho in a central midfield three.

Javi Martinez would come in as the holding midfielder, with Thiago able to keep things ticking over alongside the former Athletic Bilbao man.

Coutinho would be given freedom, able to drift wide and link up with the advancing full-backs, or burst forward in possession through the centre.

Brazil coach Tite often plays Coutinho in a similar role for the national team.

 

3-4-1-2: Manuel Neuer; Benjamin Pavard, Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez; Joshua Kimmich, Corentin Tolisso, Thiago Alcantara, David Alaba; Philippe Coutinho; Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski.

Hernandez came in as Bayern's record signing from Atletico Madrid, but he is not the only defender to have joined the Bundesliga giants, with fellow World Cup winner Pavard having also arrived.

Hernandez may be likely to start more games, but Pavard's introduction could also lead to Bayern deploying a back three, with Coutinho utilised in a playmaking role behind a front two - in this case, Lewandowski and Muller.

One concern with this line-up could be a lack of pace, though Kovac would have the option to introduce Coman, Gnabry or Perisic from the bench if required, with Muller and Lewandowski likely to thrive off Coutinho's creativity.

 

4-2-3-1: Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez, David Alaba; Corentin Tolisso; Thiago Alcantara; Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller, Philippe Coutinho; Robert Lewandowski.

Coutinho was often forced to play wide at Barca, though that was in more of a front three or a 4-4-2.

At Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp regularly deployed Coutinho on the left flank, with the Brazilian encouraged to drift infield and link the play or get off a deadly shot.

Kovac could use his new signing in a similar way, allowing Coutinho to cut inside and switch the play to Gnabry on the opposite flank, while there would also be room for Muller to play as a second striker.

Related items

  • Rice ignoring transfer rumours ahead of Manchester United meeting Rice ignoring transfer rumours ahead of Manchester United meeting

    Declan Rice has insisted he would not have signed a long-term contract with West Ham if he was targeting a move to Manchester United.

    England international Rice agreed a new deal at the London Stadium in December, tying him to the Hammers until 2024.

    Speculation over his future still arose during the close season as United reportedly considered making an approach amid a concerted effort from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to refresh his squad.

    But as the clubs prepare to meet in the Premier League this weekend, midfielder Rice made his loyalties clear.

    "I've signed a long-term, five-year contract last season and if I didn't want to sign it, I wouldn't have done it," Rice told The Mirror.

    "It makes me a West Ham player for the next five years and I'll be giving my best for the team and the supporters.

    "All I can do is to keep my head down, play my football and I'm not taking any notice of what's going on outside."

    West Ham and the Red Devils are level on eight points ahead of Sunday's match, the two clubs having both won two of their opening five games.

    Victory at home would boost the Hammers' belief of breaking into the European places this term, a stated aim under Manuel Pellegrini.

    "As a club, we want to get into Europe and his track record says he usually gets there," Rice said.

    "If we make it this season that's a bonus, but we need to keep pushing.

    "We produced a great performance at home to beat United 3-1 last season. We know it's another massive game and a chance to move up the table.

    "Every time we play the top clubs, we look forward to it and we know the place is going to be rocking on Sunday."

  • Rumour Has It: Zidane angers Real Madrid board with decision Rumour Has It: Zidane angers Real Madrid board with decision

    Zinedine Zidane is already under pressure at Real Madrid and his latest move displeased the LaLiga giants' board.

    Madrid have made a slow start to the season, winning two of four LaLiga games and suffering a humbling defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

    A decision Zidane made after that loss has reportedly upset the leaders at Madrid.

     

    TOP STORY – ZIDANE ANGERS REAL MADRID BOARD WITH DECISION

    Zidane's decision to give his players a day off on Thursday in the wake of their PSG defeat angered Real Madrid's board, according to Mundo Deportivo.

    The latest report just adds to what has been a tough return to the Santiago Bernabeu for Zidane, back at the helm for a second stint.

    With plenty of talk around his future, Sport reports it would cost Madrid €80million to sack Zidane, who signed a three-year deal in March.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - The man Zidane replaced, Santiago Solari, is close to landing a new job. Solari is the favourite to be the first coach of MLS side Inter Miami, according to beIN SPORTS.

    - Juventus knew what they needed in the close season. Calciomercato says the Serie A champions prioritised the signing of Matthijs de Ligt for a reported €75m from Ajax over trying to land Joao Felix, who ended up at Atletico Madrid from Benfica.

    - Nemanja Matic appears on the way out at Manchester United and Inter have been offered the midfielder, according to Calciomercato. However, the report says Matic is not a priority for Antonio Conte.

    - Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United are holding contract talks with 19-year-old midfielder Angel Gomes, according to the Manchester Evening News. Gomes is in the final year of his current deal and Barcelona are reportedly interested.

    - Premier League clubs are on alert with Barcelona wanting to raise funds by selling midfielder Ivan Rakitic and defender Samuel Umtiti, according to the Daily Mail. The LaLiga giants are reportedly looking to raise at least €124m this season.

    - AC Milan have held talks about possibly signing 20-year-old San Lorenzo forward Adolfo Gaich, according to Calciomercato. The Serie A side opted not to pursue a deal for the one-time Argentina international in the close season.

  • Leon Bailey set to miss Reggae Boyz’ Nations League outing Leon Bailey set to miss Reggae Boyz’ Nations League outing

    Reggae Boy Leon Bailey will not play for the country when it takes on a pair of games against Aruba in October.

    The Reggae Boyz begin their CONCACAF Nations League tie against Aruba at the National Stadium in Kingston on October 12 but then move on to Curacao for the away leg two days later.

    Bailey’s unavailability was confirmed when scans showed a muscular tear following Bayer Leverkusen's UEFA Champions League game against Locomotiv Moscow.

    Bailey has proved a little underwhelming, since coming into the Reggae Boyz line up for, first the Gold Cup, and now the CNL, but managed to score his first goal for the outfit earlier this month as the side crushed Antigua & Barbuda 6-0.

    Bailey will be absent for about a month and won’t be available until November 15 and 18 when the Reggae Boyz take on Antigua & Barbuda and Guyana.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.