Philippe Coutinho will be relishing the opportunity to make an instant impact on his Aston Villa debut when he faces old foes Manchester United.
Signed for just £8.5m from Inter in 2013, the Brazilian was absolutely brilliant in his five years at the Red Devils’ arch-rivals Liverpool.
Coutinho was involved in some of the club’s greatest wins over United and he’s also scored some famous goals against them as well.
In his first full season at Liverpool, the 29-year-old was involved in a Premier League double over Ralph Rangnick’s side.
The latter win was a famous 3-0 win over United at Old Trafford in 2014 in which Coutinho’s new manager Steven Gerrard scored twice.
However, that game was the last Premier League victory ‘the little Magician’ secured over the 12-time FA Cup Winners.
Coutinho then lost successive meetings with United the following season while each of his last three clashes before he joined Barcelona were draws.
The Brazil international has also failed to score a register a goal or an assist for Liverpool in any of his 11 Premier League fixtures games against United.
Philippe Coutinho stats vs Man United
Yet Coutinho had much more success when he faced the Manchester outfit in European competitions – having not lost any of the four games he played.
Liverpool knocked United out of the Europa League in the last 16 during their run to the final six years ago.
The tie was evenly poised during the return leg at Old Trafford with Anthony Martial’s penalty reducing Liverpool’s aggregate score to 2-1.
Coutinho then silenced the home crowd with a superb solo goal as he breezed past Guillermo Varela before dinking David de Gea at his near post.
Jurgen Klopp described it as a ‘genius moment’ while the man himself told UEFA.com: “I had the chance to be face to face with De Gea and I’ve tried this kind of thing before in training, so I thought ‘why not?’”
“Luckily, it came off. You could say that this was one of my best goals in a Liverpool shirt, but once again, all that counts is the team, and this evening the team performed at a very high level, creating several chances and showing how strong we are.”
Coutinho then had the opportunity to dump United out of the Champions League when his Barcelona side drew them in the quarter-finals in 2019.
Upon his return to Manchester, he vowed to honour Liverpool by eliminating their famous foes from Europe for a second time.
As quoted by the Mirror, Coutinho said: “I know that games against Manchester United are special.
“I learned what they meant during my time at Liverpool when we lived it so intensely with the fans.
“I have that nailed in my memory and, even though this is a different stage, if Barcelona knock United out of Europe, it will be a double personal satisfaction for me.”
And Coutinho did indeed return to haunt United, scoring a wonderful curling effort from distance in Barca’s 3-0 win at the Nou Camp.
It remains to be seen what the next chapter in this intriguing rivalry will be when Coutinho makes his second Premier League bow against a familiar foe.