Jamie Carragher believes Philippe Coutinho let Steven Gerrard down at Aston Villa by failing to produce for his former Liverpool teammate.
Villa sacked Gerrard as manager on Thursday night following their 3-0 defeat to Fulham, which left the club 17th in the Premier League – outside the relegation zone on goal difference alone.
It has been a disappointing start to the season for Villa, who spent more than £60m on new signings in the summer – with Coutinho arriving in a £17m move from Barcelona after initially impressing while on loan last season.
The Brazilian has been unable to replicate that success since making the move permanent, managing just one goal in his last 22 appearances for Villa.
"That was one of the big plus points of Stevie going to Aston Villa. He could attract players that the manager before couldn't due to his name and his contacts," Carragher told Sky Sports News.
"Philippe Coutinho was a real standout, getting him from Barcelona.
"Obviously it hasn't gone well for him but you would think, if he could reignite the ability we saw in a Liverpool shirt or a Brazil shirt, it could be really special.
"He was the one attacking player he brought to Aston Villa and that was the big problem for the team, they didn't score enough goals. He was Stevie's man and he didn't produce.
"The Premier League for him now is just a bit too quick and too powerful, it certainly wasn't the same Philippe Coutinho we saw three or four years ago."
In total, Coutinho has managed only five goals in his 30 appearances for Villa.
He looks a shadow of the player that scored 54 goals and provided 45 assists in 201 games for Liverpool, prior to his £135m move to Barcelona in 2018.
Aaron Danks has temporarily taken charge of the Aston Villa first-team while the club conducts its search for a new permanent manager.
A number of star names have been linked with the vacant role, including former Tottenham and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino, ex-Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and former Arsenal head coach Unai Emery.
Villa next host Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday before travelling to face Newcastle the following Saturday.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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