Aston Villa shirt numbers Philippe Coutinho could wear with favourite three already taken
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Philippe Coutinho is closing in on a Premier League return this month, with Aston Villa leading several English clubs in the race for his services. Sky Sports report Villa are in contact with Barcelona over a short loan for Coutinho as they look to avoid a bidding war with their top-flight rivals.
A move to Villa Park would likely interest the out-of-favour 29-year-old as it would present the chance to reunite with manager Steven Gerrard.
However, Coutinho may have to settle for an unfamiliar shirt number if he arrives in the Midlands this month.
Over the last decade, he has donned three different shirt numbers at Inter Milan, Liverpool, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich – 7, 10, and 14.
But with all three currently occupied, Express Sport explores different options he may opt for after completing his loan switch.
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The lowest available number at Villa is 13, which is also the closest to what Coutinho has worn during his last three seasons at Barcelona – 14.
It’s also close to the number 11 shirt he wears whilst representing Brazil and is somewhat similar to the 23 he inherited on loan at Espanyol in the 2011/12 season.
The number 13 shirt has been vacant since goalkeeper Jed Steer changed to 12 in 2018.
In fact, nine of the last 10 representatives of the 13 shirt at Villa Park have been goalkeepers, with Michael Bradley in the 2010/11 season the exception.
Coutinho might not be able to wear the number seven shirt he sported in his final season at Inter and second campaign at Barcelona.
John McGinn won’t be giving that up, however, 27 is available and arguably the next best thing.
Coutinho could follow in the footsteps of Albert Adomah, Ahmed Elmohamady, and the shirt number’s longest host, Isaiah Osbourne.
But possibly the most likely shirt the former Liverpool superstar could inherit is 29.
He wore the number in his first two years after making a huge leap to European football from Vasco da Gama to Inter in 2010.
Coutinho could want to add to his Premier League nostalgia, and wearing the number he sported in his debuting years in Europe would make sense.
As mentioned, the 23 from his stint at Espanyol in 2012 is also available, but 29 arguably has more of an attacker’s look.
And who wouldn’t want to follow in the footsteps of an English football legend like Grant Holt at Villa Park.
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