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Glen Johnson tells Chelsea to sign ‘unbelievable’ Philippe Coutinho and says Frank Lampard is the perfect coach to revitalise Brazilian’s career

Glen Johnson has backed Chelsea to sign his former Liverpool teammate Philippe Coutinho, telling talkSPORT Frank Lampard is the perfect manager to help the midfielder get back to his best.

The Blues are reportedly leading the race to sign the £80million-rated star in the next transfer window, following a difficult few years for the Brazilian.

It hasn’t really worked out for Coutinho since leaving Liverpool in 2018.

Coutinho has spent this season on loan at Bayern Munich in a bid to rediscover his form after falling out of favour at Barcelona, and could now be set for a return to the English game

He failed to cut the mustard at Barcelona, where he struggled to live up to his staggering £142m price tag, and after after just 18 months at the Nou Camp he was shipped out on loan to Bayern Munich.

His fortunes have improved during his stay in Germany, but the Bundesliga champions are not prepared to make his transfer a permanent one.

And now the Brazilian maestro is set for a return to the Premier League, with reports in Spain claiming Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal for the former Reds star.

And former Chelsea and Liverpool defender Johnson believes it would be a great move for both club and player, and he’s urged the Blues to make it happen.

Glen Johnson says Philippe Coutinho ‘needs an arm around him’ after a difficult few years since leaving Liverpool, and he believes Frank Lampard is the perfect man for the job
Getty Images – Getty

Speaking on Thursday’s White and Sawyer show, Johnson said: “Obviously you look on paper at his CV, at the clubs he’s been at, and it’s unbelievable. You don’t get to those clubs without an enormous amount of ability.

“He’s not reached the heights he’s capable of since he’s left Liverpool and it’s hard to put your finger on why.

“I know he’s a quiet guy, a very nice lad, but he’s got a bit of fight about him on the pitch, he wont be pushed around.

“At Barca you go there and there’s a superstar in every corner you look, and maybe he just blended in a little bit rather than being the key man.

“I just think he needs to be made to feel a bit special; he needs an arm around him, and I think he’d get that at Chelsea.”

But what would Lampard be getting for his money?

Johnson knows just how talented Coutinho is, having played with him for two years at Anfield and witnessed first-hand how he could turn games on their head with his genius touch and ability to score a screamer.

And he says while a quiet character in the dressing room, the Brazilian transforms on the pitch.

“I got on really well with him and I was actually with him before Bayern played Chelsea earlier this season,” added the former England international.

“I think he’s just a bit cautious when he meets new people and it takes him a bit of time to come out of his shell. That’s why I guess when he walks into a new dressing room it will take a bit of time for the lads to get to know him, but he’s really nice lad.

“I think it would be great for him and his family to be in London and Lamps could be the man that puts his arm around him and makes him feel he is a key part of their plans, and I think that could force the best out of him.

Stoke 0-1 Liverpool: Late magic from Coutinho gets Reds off to a flyer
Philippe Coutinho was known for his match-winning ability at Liverpool, where he was adored by fans

“There is no doubt about it, the boy can play. He’s unbelievable.

“He’s a proper footballer. He’s not the quickest lad and he’s clearly not the biggest lad, but his brain, his sharpness and speed of his football brain… he just picks that pass and he’s got that technique and perfect mobility in short spaces that opens up defences, and that’s something you can’t teach.

“And if Chelsea get the chance to sign him, they should be signing him.”

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