Steven Gerrard insists Aston Villa still want to make Philippe Coutinho’s loan move permanent this summer despite axing the £30m-rated Brazilian playmaker from his starting XI for the first time at Burnley
- Philippe Coutinho was left out of Steven Gerrard’s starting line-up at Burnley
- Steven Gerrard insisted he was rotating his squad with five games in 15 days
- Aston Villa all but secured their place in the Premier League with 3-1 win
Steven Gerrard insisted demoting Philippe Coutinho to the substitute’s bench at Burnley was not a sign the club were cooling on their ambition to sign the Brazilian loanee on a permanent basis.
Coutinho was left out of Gerrard’s starting line-up for the first time since he made his Villa debut in January and replacement Emiliano Buendia was the star of the show in the visitor’s 3-1 win, with Coutinho only used for the final 12 minutes.
However Gerrard addressed Villa’s wish to negotiate with Barcelona on a permanent deal for the £30million-rated playmaker.
Philippe Coutinho was left out of Steven Gerrard’s starting line-up for the first time at Burnley
‘We want Philippe Coutinho here for sure,’ said Gerrard, who played with him at Liverpool.
‘We have five games in 15 days so Phil and Emi will both get enough game time to keep themselves satisfied. As a club, we want to be in a place where games come thick and fast.
‘Phil understood the decision, he has played a lot. There are no egos here.’
Burnley will be hoping central defender James Tarkowski has not played his last game for the club after he limped out at the start of the second half with a tight hamstring.
Coutinho eventually came on for the impressive Emiliano Buendia in the 80th minute
Already without club captain Ben Mee, losing Tarkowski for the rest of the campaign would be a blow in their relegation fight and the player is out of contract in the summer.
‘He has a tight hamstring. We don’t about when he’ll be back, we will have to look at him Monday or Tuesday. Fingers crossed it won’t be too back but James might take a bit longer than coming back next weekend.
‘He knew himself it was getting a little bit tight.’
Steven Gerrard’s side all but secured their place in the Premier League by beating Burnley
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