Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick has said that attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho is trying too hard to impress and ends up making the wrong decision at times as a result.
Coutinho, 27, left Liverpool for Barcelona in January 2018, but struggled to impress in the Catalan capital.
Despite 21 goals and 11 assists in 76 appearances, he was sent to Bayern Munich last summer in a loan deal with an option to buy as Barcelona sought to recoup some of the money they spent on the Brazilian.
However, Coutinho has not yet fully convinced new boss Flick, who feels the player is putting too much pressure on himself.
“His training performances always give me hope that he will deliver,” Flick said in his press conference ahead of Bayern’s Champions League round of 16 first-leg clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
“He is a gifted player. He puts too much pressure on himself, he keeps trying to put his stamp on the game.
“Not all decisions are currently correct. We will continue to support him. I think a lot of him as a footballer – but also as a person.”
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has also yet to decide if Coutinho’s purchase option should be triggered.
While praising the player’s natural ability, he also suggested that the midfielder has not yet performed at his best on a consistent basis and appeared reluctant to commit to buying the Brazilian.
“Why is it [the transfer] not decisive? This is a difficult question,” Rummenigge said to Sport Bild. “I think he played well in some games while in others he gave the impression of being a little inhibited.
“I don’t know why. The fact is that we all believe he is an exceptional footballer, we see him in training and sometimes during competitions.
“Everyone tries to help him, the coach, his team-mates. Now we have to hope that in the crucial weeks starting now, he will become an important factor in helping us win titles.”
Coutinho has seven goals and eight assists in 28 appearances for Bayern across all competitions and will hope to add to his tally against Chelsea on Tuesday night as Bayern look to achieve European and domestic glory.