Barring something spectacular, like a Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United, Philippe Coutinho looks set to be the stand-out transfer of January 2018.
The transfer figure of £142m is a mouth-watering, incomprehensible amount of money regardless of the undoubtable talent the 25-year-old clearly possesses.
So how does Coutinho’s sum compare to other done deals so far this month?
The only transfer even close to comparison with Coutinho’s move in this window is Virgil van Dijk’s transfer from Southampton to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool for £75m.
That puts the world’s most expensive defender at around half the value of Coutinho – goals and that creative influence in the final third clearly come at a premium.
Coutinho may be closer, positionally, to a Ross Barkley who sealed his move from Everton to Chelsea for just £15m earlier this month.
Barkley’s recent injury issues and expiring contract have clearly lowered his value but he’s still nearly ten times cheaper than Coutinho despite scoring 21 goals and making 18 assists in 150 Premier League appearances.
In 152 league appearances though, Coutinho has 41 goals and 35 assists – it is clear why Barcelona were so keen to get his signature.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 15, 2018
Theo Walcott, who is completing his move to Everton for around £20m, has 65 goals and 43 assists but has needed 270 appearances for Arsenal to reach those numbers.
What does he offer Barcelona?
Clearly, from his stats alone, Coutinho offers Barcelona a huge amount. He can create and score goals – something he has proven time and time again in the Premier League.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said: “This player will bring us a lot, he scores goals he creates goals as well and can play out wide or in the middle.
“From an attacking point of view he brings a lot, he’s an important name in world football and we’re all here to help him for him to help us let’s hope he has the best of luck.”
The attacking midfielder doesn’t score too many tap-ins either, regularly scoring stunners from long range leaving the goalkeepers with little chance of making a save.
If Barcelona find themselves up against a defensive-minded opponent, he’s able to crack open a defence with a deft pass or just fire the ball home from long-range.
And Luis Suarez is one man who knows all about moving from Liverpool to the Nou Camp with a hefty price tag.
“Obviously as a player I am very happy, he will bring a lot for the team. Everyone knows what a quality player he has been showing that for years now,” he added.
“We need to welcome him the best way we can make him, feel at home because we know changing clubs is difficult.”