Injury Record A Worry
Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: "Aston Villa should sign Philippe Coutinho but his injury record is a worry.
"I do think he should sign permanently but I'm always wary of players staying on loan.
"Judging by what I've seen, fitness could be an issue. From what I've seen he's played fantastically for an hour and then fitness seems to be an issue.
"It's whether or not Coutinho can be kept fully fit and if you do, Steven Gerrard will have a side challenging for European places."
European Football Realistic Next Season
James also suggested that expectations may have been raised too high this term, after Gerrard arrived to replace Dean Smith – but feels a bid for European qualification is not an unrealistic goal for next season.
"People assumed Villa would automatically get into European places after Steven Gerrard's strong start," he explained.
"Aston Villa and Steven Gerrard were the perfect match of ambition.
"The interesting thing is because he had a very good beginning, people assumed he could continue it for the rest of the season and that they'd finish in the top six.
"He's got them out of the relegation issue and with the season drawing to an end, he will have proper time to solve the issues within the team.
"This season was more about solidifying the team and getting his information across, and looking for next season as a springboard and assault on Europe.
"It's a perfect marriage between Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa."
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