Former Bayern Munich star Rafinha has said that Philippe Coutinho is the perfect signing for the club and he should act as the direct replacement for James Rodriguez. Rodriguez contributed 14 goals and 15 assists in the Bundesliga during a two-year loan from Real Madrid but the Bavarian giants decided against signing him permanently amid the concerns over his fitness.
Since then, the club have gone on to recruit Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho on loan from Inter Milan and Barcelona respectively to bolster their ranks, and Rafinha believes the latter could aide Bayern’s quest for the Champions League title this season. Speaking to Bundesliga.com, he said: “After James left, Bayern needed another top star in midfield. Philippe Coutinho is a brilliant player. He’ll definitely make Bayern a better team, and improve their chances in the UEFA Champions League. Hopefully he’ll adapt to the Bundesliga quickly.”
Coutinho was initially touted to make the return to the Premier League and he was associated with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur before the English transfer deadline. However, a move never materialised and his representative has since confirmed that Bayern were always favourites to land the Copa America winner.
At Barcelona, Coutinho could not produce a consistent run of good performances with the pressure of expectations under his shoulders, but things could be different at the German champions. The attacker has only joined Bayern on a season-long loan with the option to buy and he should have the assurance of a starting spot unlike at the Blaugrana, where he would have faced competition from Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann.
Bayern have dominated the proceedings in the Bundesliga over the past seven years, but they face a tougher challenge this time around with Borussia Dortmund making quality signings of their own. Dortmund beat them by a 2-0 score during the recent German Super Cup clash and they have since stumbled with a 2-2 home draw against Hertha Berlin during the league opener. Bayern should, however, get stronger with both Perisic and Coutinho joining the team.