Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho has been a revelation since joining Liverpool.
The 21-year-old joined the Reds from Inter Milan in January 2012 for a reported fee of £8.5m – or the equivalent of Andy Caroll’s right leg.
Some fans were quite critical at first, believing that a skinny Brazilian who didn’t make much impression in the much slower Serie A was going to struggle to adapt to the fast and furious Premier League – yet they couldn’t be more wrong.
A typical Brazilian number 10, Coutinho demonstrates trickery, flair, great vision and more importantly an end product – traits which have made him a fans favourite on Merseyside.
With the big clash against the Gunners pegged back to a 12.45pm kick-off, Brazilians and Uruguayans were forced to wake up early to watch their idols in action. For those who overslept, they missed an absolute treat as Liverpool produced arguably the best 20 minutes of football any side has played so far in the Premier League this season.
Philippe Coutinho was a brilliant throughout – linking up beautifully with Suarez and Gerrard before assisting Daniel Sturridge for Liverpool’s fourth with a perfectly weighted pass. Coutinho went on to make three successful dribbles and five key passes – more than any other player on the pitch.
“When Coutinho’s right, he is the difference that makes Liverpool.
“I guess that he is a very great player and he is showing that he has the quality to play for both Liverpool and in the national team. I’m proud to be playing with him.”
Coutinho reiterated his desire to play in his county’s World Cup this summer, and with performances such as today, it will be difficult for Luis Felipe Scolari to leave him out.
image: © Dean Jones