'I always thought Coutinho was the perfect replacement for Iniesta'
With doubts surrounding the future of Andres Iniesta, the Catalan side decided to move for someone to compete with him in the short term and replace him long term, with Coutinho the man chosen for the task.
The Brazilian started his career as a forward, often playing off the left-hand side, but he moved inside during his time working under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, eventually becoming an accomplished midfielder.
That role saw him play in practically the exact same position as Iniesta did at Barca, with Fernandez telling 'beIN Sports' that Coutinho was bought to replace Iniesta.
"I always thought Coutinho was the perfect replacement for Iniesta. We had to look for a player thar was ready to pick up Iniesta's torch. Andres has defined a generation of world football," he explained.
Coutinho started for Barca on Saturday as they survived a late scare to see off newly-promoted Real Valladolid 1-0 at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla.