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We ‘signed’ Philippe Coutinho for Arsenal next season and this is what happened

After winning their record 14th FA Cup on Saturday August 1, Arsenal’s 2019/20 season has finally come to an end, with the club now turning their attentions to the transfer market ahead of the fast approaching 2020/21 campaign.

One player who has been consistently linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium over the last 12 months is former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who is reportedly surplus to requirements at his current club FC Barcelona, and has been on loan at Bavarian giants Bayern Munich during the previous campaign.

Coutinho is clearly a wonderful talent and knows the Premier League well, which got us thinking, what could happen if the Brazilian did join Arsenal this summer?

We used the popular football management simulation game Football Manager 2020 to have a bit of fun and find out how Coutinho would perform for the club.

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We ‘signed’ Philippe Coutinho for Arsenal next season and this is what happened

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2020 editor to arrange the transfer of Philippe Coutinho to Arsenal ahead of the 2020/21 season.

The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international, on-the-ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people. Among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.

In addition, each annual iteration of Football Manager has built-in algorithms which check for outliers and data discrepancies. Data accuracy is further ensured by input from contributors who are active within the professional game (players, agents etc.) who provide regular feedback.

This is what Philippe Coutinho’s player profile looks like in Football Manager 2020 ahead of the new campaign.

Best attributes: Dribbling (18), technique (18), flair (18), long shots (17), first touch (17), agility (17), composure (17), vision (17).

Coutinho is classed as an elite winger on the game, which means that he’s one of the best players in the world in his position.

We then simulated the 2020/21 campaign. This is what happened. Note that in our simulation, Arsenal won the FA Cup in the 2019/20 season, and as such qualified for the Europa League in 2020/21.

Philippe Coutinho’s 2020/21 season for Arsenal

In our simulation, Coutinho had a superb individual season for Arsenal, replacing Mesut Ozil as the club’s main creator and establishing himself in the number ten position within Mikel Arteta’s side.

Let’s take a look at his performance statistics from our simulation.

The Brazilian scored 13 goals and registered 16 assists across 58 appearances in all competitions, playing a major role for the club across four major competitons.

Interestingly, Coutinho played more of a goal scoring role in the Premier League, scoring nine goals and…