FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman is counting on Philippe Coutinho for the 2021/22 season, and believes the Brazilian can be 'an important player' for the Catalan outfit.
Barcelona signed Coutinho from Liverpool in a mega money move in 2018, but the now 29-year-old has not quite lived up to the expectations since arriving at the La Liga club.
As a result, he has regularly been linked with an exit from Barcelona, and is being linked with a move away from the Blaugrana this summer, but Koeman insists he is counting on the player.
"I count on him," Koeman said [via SPORT]. "For me, Cou can be an important player for Barca. He played games at the start of last year and then got injured that lasted longer than we hoped for. And yes, I truly count on him for this season, yes."
Koeman also explained why Coutinho has not been included in Barcelona's squad for their La Liga clash with Athletic Club. He said: "Philippe is out because I think that he needs another week to train with the group, before being called up.
"He’s an important player, he’s effective in his game. He can play in various positions. We need people like him. With Messi we lost a lot of goals and we have to look for goals from the other players."