How Coutinho and Eriksen could enable Liverpool to play perfect football

If Liverpool pull off a deal for long term target Christian Eriksen, he could forge a brilliant partnership with Philippe Coutinho next season.

The Brazilian midfielder has been one of the best players at Anfield since he arrived from Inter Milan last January and if Liverpool invest in Christian Eriksen, the number of benefits for the club will go through the roof.

Eriksen is a very similar player to Coutinho in the respect that he likes to play at the top of the midfield, on the verge of that number ten role, linking up with a main striker or a pair of forwards.

The combination of Coutinho and Eriksen in midfield for Liverpool, would give the side a fantastic chance of being able to maintain pressure over any opposition side, keeping them pinned inside their own defensive third.

Coutinho’s passing success rate in the Premier League last season was just under 75% but he did produce five assists from his 12 starts and one sub appearance, which is a tribute to his decision making in the final third of the pitch.

When you compare that to Eriksen’s 84% passing success rate and four assists in six Champions League games last season, Liverpool could have a combination where if the opposition defence goes to sleep for a second, the ball is through to someone like Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge to score a goal.

The point is they would be able to feed off of each other and they each offer that creative and instant attacking threat if one of them is being nullified in a game more effectively than the other.

Eriksen’s presence at Liverpool would also take a world of pressure off the shoulders of club captain Steven Gerrard, who is not going to be able to play every single game at the age of 33-years-old.

The only danger with a Coutinho and Eriksen combination is that it suggests Brendan Rodgers would be taking an immensely attacking mentality into most games where they are both present in the midfield.

That places an immense strain on someone like Lukas to play the holding and defensive role in the middle of the team, protecting the defence and offering cover on the counter attack.

Neither Coutinho or Eriksen are refined enough players to be able to play a defensive role in the Liverpool midfield effectively. There is also the suggestion that their size would hamper Liverpool’s midfield because they are both small players but Liverpool played some of the best football last season with a smaller statured team.

The reports are saying that Liverpool are hoping to try and sign Eriksen for around the £18 million mark, as Brendan Rodgers looks to add another attacking signing who will improve the team and the squad ahead of the new season.

The Dane has said that he wants to join a huge club and that’s certainly a term which applies to Liverpool, but the only thing which could hamper them is the lack of European football.

However, if they pull it off, Liverpool could be playing even more exciting football next season than they are already promising.

How do you think Coutinho and Eriksen would play together? Should Liverpool’s focus be elsewhere?

image: © Dean Jones

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