Premier League teams scrambling to work out Coutinho

Liverpool's new signing has hit the ground running in his first appearances in the Premier League, and teams who might have hoped he wouldn't make an impact until next season are now hurrying to put plans in place to counter the young Brazilian.

As with Papiss Cisse and Nikica Jelavic last season, there are always players who come into the Premier League in January and make an instant impression on the division. Being in form at their previous club a relatively unknown quantity gives them a small edge in their first few weeks, before teams adjust and work out how to play against them.

However Philippe Coutinho did not seem to be a man teams would have to worry about until next year. The 20 year old had only played a handful of matches at Inter this season, and whilst clearly talented, it was assumed he would take time to settle into the Premier League.

In contrast to those expectations, Coutinho has burst onto the scene with two assists and a goal in his two starts in the Premier League, contributing to Liverpool's 5-0 and 4-0 wins over Swansea and Wigan respectively.

The cross he laid on for Stewart Downing's opener at the weekend was simply perfect, and his all round play has demonstrated that he will have plenty to offer Brendon Rodgers' side before the summer.

Now teams, such as Liverpool's weekend opponents Tottenham Hotspur, are desperately adjusting their plans to factor in the young Brazilian. With Daniel Sturridge also recently recruited to the side, teams who had spent most of their time considering how to combat the magnificent Luis Suarez are now posed with the far more daunting proposition of a trio of in form forwards.

Coutinho will likely not start every game, and given his youth and inexperience there will be matches where he fails to make an impact this year, but the confidence and ability he has already demonstrated suggests Liverpool have made an excellent signing.

With Spurs set to face Inter and Liverpool over the next couple of weeks, they might end up wondering why the Italian side let the 20-year-old leave.

Is Coutinho set to be a star at Anfield?

image: © Dean Jones

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