Philippe Coutinho seems to be settling into life at Bayern Munich pretty well following his loan move from Barcelona in August.
The Brazilian has featured in five of the champions’ six Bundesliga outings, starting three, and has two goals and two assists to his name.
His brightest showing so far came in Saturday’s 3-2 away win at SC Parderborn 07 at the Benteler-Arena that sent Niko Kovac’s men top of the table for the first time this season.
Coutinho produced a delicious assist for Serge Gnabry’s opener on 15 minutes, dinking a neat pass over the defence and into his team-mate to slide past the goalkeeper.
We're starting to see the best of Philippe Coutinho at Bayern Munich— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 28, 2019
An assist and goal vs Paderborn to top off a fine display... pic.twitter.com/jCuqUjdCdQ
The Barcelona loanee then popped up with Bayern’s second of the match just after half-time. Gnabry turned provider and teed up the Brazilian to tap into an empty net.
Critics will point out that it was only Paderborn (they are bottom with only one point from six matches) but Coutinho’s performance still had manager Niko Kovac purring after the game.
“Philippe speaks for himself really. I think everyone in the stadium today and everyone who watched the match once again saw the ability he has and the quality he has on the ball. At times it really looks like he’s dancing with the ball, there’s no other way of saying it. He knows exactly when, how and what to do with the ball.”
Source | Bundesliga
Coutinho’s two goals and two assists mean he has been involved in a Bayern goal every 70 minutes so far this season. It’s probably worth noting that his first goal came from the penalty spot, although he did have to take it twice after players encroached first time around.
Coutinho certainly seems happier at Bayern after a tough spell at Barcelona. He has already spoken about how Thiago has helped him settle in at his new club and that Bayern “feels like a family” in an interview with Bundesliga.com.
He enjoyed a similar start to life at Barca too after joining from Liverpool. The Brazilian notched 10 goals in 22 appearances in his first half season with the club but then seemed to fizzle out in his first full campaign.
Far tougher tests await Coutinho throughout the season, and he will head back to England next for a Champions League clash at Tottenham. Yet there will be optimism at Bayern that the club can get the best out of Coutinho in a way that Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde did not last season.