Photo: Aston Villa finally unveil Philippe Coutinho in stunning coup for Steven Gerrard

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It’s taken a few days to finally get over the line, but Philippe Coutinho is now an Aston Villa player.

The club’s official Twitter account announced that the deal was completed by showing a picture of the Brazilian decked out in Villa kit and holding a shirt aloft.

Whether a temporary loan or a permanent deal, and much of that will depend on how well Coutinho does in the Midlands, the switch allows the player to get some regular games under his belt again for the first time in an age.

It’s a stunning coup for Steven Gerrard, who will be hoping that his old Liverpool team-mate can provide the creative spark to help propel Villa up the table.

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His time at Barcelona over the past couple of years has been blighted by a complete loss of form, and the well-publicised troubles at the Catalan club.

With new coach, Xavi Hernandez, barely playing the Brazilian, it was obvious that in a World Cup year, Coutinho would have to move on if he wanted to be front and centre and be considered by Tite for the squad to head to Qatar 2022.

The ball is certainly in the player’s court now, and if he can recapture anything like the form he showed whilst at Liverpool, which would encourage Villa to take up a purchase option at a reported £40m, the Midlands will have got themselves a bargain.

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