Steven Gerrard hails Philippe Coutinho as “invaluable” after successful medical examination

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has said signing Philippe Coutinho on loan “will be invaluable” once the Brazilian completes his medical.

illa announced on his official website that Coutinho’s medical examination was successful and that he is currently in France in the process of obtaining a work permit.

Gerrard told avfc.co.uk: “His presence will be invaluable given the injuries and the CAN tournament has reduced our attacking options.

“He’s a player I loved to play with before and I know the rest of the squad here at Aston Villa will benefit from his quality and experience.”

Gerrard has said he hopes Coutinho will join his new teammates on Wednesday at the club’s training ground at Bodymoor Heath.

The Premier League club have loaned Coutinho for the remainder of the season to Barcelona and have the option of buying the former Liverpool midfielder.

Barcelona have confirmed that Villa will pay part of Coutinho’s salary as he returns to the Premier League after four years and the sides reconnect with ex-Liverpool team-mate Gerrard.

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Philippe Coutinho returns to Premier League after four-year absence (Peter Byrne / PA)

Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2018 in a deal worth £ 146million, but struggled at Camp Nou and spent 2019-20 on loan at Bayern Munich.

Although he helped Barca win La Liga in 2018 and 2019, he never found the form he displayed in the Premier League.

Coutinho becomes Gerrard’s first signing at Villa since joining Rangers in November to replace Dean Smith.

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