Aston Villa Brazilian midfield star Philippe Coutinho has been ruled out for up to 10 weeks and will miss the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Coutinho has suffered a quadricep injury, with a seven week return his best case scenario.
He was already facing an uphill struggle to make the squad due to a loss of form and lack of regular action, but the injury now rules him out of Qatar 2022.
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The 30-year-old was not in the squad for Aston Villa’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United and new boss Unai Emery said he would not be available for Thursday’s Carabao Cup tie at Old Trafford, or the Premier League fixture at Brighton next weekend.
The Spaniard was extremely pessimistic about Coutinho’s chances of making the tournament in Qatar, which starts in less than two weeks’ time and it has now been confirmed he will miss the tournament with injury.
Coutinho joined Villa on loan from Barcelona last January to great fanfare and even though his performances were mixed, Villa decided to buy him permanently for £17million.
The move for Coutinho was pushed by Steven Gerrard, who was sacked last month, and has yet to produce the results hoped for.
This latest injury casts further question marks over what may be his long-term role at the club under Emery.