Ex-Liverpool star re-joins boyhood club after 16 years following disastrous Aston Villa spell

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Liverpool FC news: The former record-breaking midfielder has completed a career full-circle.

Former Liverpool midfielder Phillippe Coutinho has completed a career full-circle by re-joining boyhood club CR Vasco da Gama.

The 32-year-old is still contracted to Aston Villa until 2026 but his future at the club appears to be over having spent the majority of the last two seasons on loan. His most recent move saw him spend last season on loan at Al-Duhail in Qatar - where he managed seven goals and three assists in 22 appearances.

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Coutinho joined Villa permanently from Barcelona for £17m in 2022, six months after initially signing on loan. But Unai Emery cast him out from his plans at the end of last summer. Therefore, he has headed out on loan once again, this time linking up Vasco in Brazil’s top tier who currently sit 13th in the division.

And now the Brazilian has re-joined the club that helped launch his career, some 16 years after leaving. It was at Vasco where he was first called up to the Brazil U14 squad and his talent was soon noticed by Inter Milan, who snapped him up as a 16-year-old. However, due to Brazil’s rulings, he stayed for two more years, experiencing senior first team action before leaving for Italy aged 18.

He managed to help Vasco win the Serie B title and managed to net his first senior goal in Brazil’s top-flight in 2010. From there, he was given a platform at the San Siro to flex his wide array of talents, making 47 appearances across three years before signing for Liverpool in January, 2013 for a fee around £8.5m.

In what was a masterstroke signing, he went on to net 54 times and provide 43 assists in 201 games, netting countless stunning strikes from distance and free-kicks, providing fans will incredible memories. Parting ways with the attacker wasn’t welcomed at the time, but the mammoth initial £105m offer, which could rise to £142 million with various clauses being met, from Barcelona was simply too good to turn down.

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As it stands, that transfer is the third-highest of all time behind Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. However, his best days came at Anfield as he failed to make his mark at Barcelona as he was unfairly miscast before then failing to secure a permanent move while on loan at Bayern Munich, despite some success. Joining Aston Villa seemed to unveil a short renaissance in English football under ex-teammate Steven Gerrard but Emery was quick to dismiss him due to fitness issues.

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