Philippe Coutinho has enjoyed his holidays a lot more than he did 12 months ago. The Brazilian is optimistic about his future at FC Barcelona and is desperate to prove himself under new head coach Ronald Koeman.
The footballer returned to training ahead of schedule this week, even though he was given extra time off following Bayern's Champions League triumph. He's in great shape after an injury restricted his playing time in the final part of the Bundesliga season.
Coutinho showed glimpses of his talent in Lisbon, even if he didn't start, and helped his side win the Champions League. He's reportedly told people close to him that he's ready to prove himself to Barça. A new coach with new ideas has given Coutinho renewed optimism.
What Koeman and Barça are clear about now is that Coutinho can't play in midfield. The Brazilian's options are anywhere across the front three or just behind the striker. He can't slot into Iniesta's role which is what he was initially signed to do.
Many people at Barça see Coutinho as having an important role to play in the attacking phase. Alongside the likes of Griezmann, Dembele, Ansu and Braithwaite he's capable of moving across the front line and breaking through stubborn defences.
If Lionel Messi does end up staying, Koeman believes he and Coutinho are compatible in the same team. Messi could play off the right, cutting inside, whereas Coutinho would do the same but from the left of attack.