Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan insists the only winners since Philipp Coutinho has left Liverpool are the Reds.
The Brazilian left Anfield in 2018 to join La Liga giants Barcelona in a deal worth £142m but the move did not go to plan for the Catalan giants.
Coutinho scored 26 goals in 106 appearances for Barca and even spent a year out on loan in 2019-20 at Bayern Munich.
Aston Villa and Steven Gerrard are on the wrong trajectory together
And the Brazil international now finds himself out on loan again Aston Villa, who he joined in the January transfer window.
Barcelona and Villa agreed a £33m optional future fee if the Premier League club wanted to make the move permanent in the summer – but, with his performances dipping in recent weeks, Villa will have to think long and hard about it.
Coutinho has contributed four goals and three assists at Villa in the Premier League but he hasn’t provided a goal or an assist in his last five matches for Steven Gerrard’s side.
And Jordan admits he “would have reservations” about signing Coutinho if he was Villa and he hopes the 29-year-old can put in some impressive peformances before the end of the season.
Jordan said on talkSPORT: “I think it was a really clever signing because it cost them nothing to get him, they took a fraction of his wages, it looked on paper like a wonderful headline piece of business when really and truly it cost Villa £3m quid, maybe £4m, for a period of time – probably not even that – and I thought that was really smart business.
“It gave them a little bit of a lift, it made it feel like [Steven] Gerrard has got the gold-dust to attract the alluring players around the world because this player wanted to come and play for him.
“In the bigger picture, I would have reservations because I am not sure where Coutinho is in the great scheme of things. Villa are trying to build a side that is going to compete with the upper echelons of the league and Coutinho to me is a mixed bag, he has not been an unprecedented success since he left Liverpool.
“The only success out of that transaction was Liverpool managing to get £150m quid – everyone else has got a bit of a pup haven’t they in comparison? So at £33m quid I think it is probably a reasonable transfer fee if they could chip it down a little bit and make it based on games and guarantees rather than just a flat £33m quid.
“Then at £8m if we have got some conditionality upon it, if we have got some returns on it, if he is going to be able to play X amount of games to get to that level. If it is just a straight on £160,000 a week, in Premier League wages terms that’s not a lot in this day and age because I sat here with you last week saying ‘If you start paying Erling Haaland £500-grand a week you are going to make the average Premier League player on £200-grand.
“The average Premier League player is already on £80,000 a week, that’s a fact, so we are talking about Coutinho and what he could do for the team. I am not sure. I can suspend judgement based on further evidence. We have got another five games before the end of the season I would want to make sure that I looked at the full spectrum of information.”