Alan Smith comments on one area where Philippe Coutinho needs to improve

Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho got on the scoresheet for the Reds and was an impressive performer, but Smith feels he needs to do more in front of goal.

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has identified an area were Philippe Coutinho needs to improve he is to become amongst the top class performers in his position. 

The Brazilian was an integral part to the Reds' impressive performance in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal, scoring the opening goal shortly before Mathieu Debuchy brought the visitors level.

In his column for the Daily Telegraph, whilst being impressed with what Coutinho offered, Smith thinks he needs to add more goals to his game.

He said: "Coutinho should be aiming for, and indeed should be capable of reaching, double figures. A greater goal threat, however, may develop with age for someone undoubtedly boasting time on his side.

"Having bought the player nearly two years ago now, Rodgers is likely to stick with a lad he substituted 17 times in the league last season. The fact that he was hooked on so many occasions points to someone still searching for strength and consistency, perhaps giving a hint as to why he did not make Brazil’s World Cup squad for the summer finals in Brazil. He is involved with the Selecao now, though. As he is on Merseyside."

There is little doubt that Coutinho is a talented footballer and provides a threat, and is now getting himself into the right positions more often than not to get a shot in target. 

But there were a couple of occasions when the ball dropped to him on the edge of the penalty area but it was met with a tame shot. We have seen that he has the ability to trouble the goalkeeper from that range at the very least, and it is one area of his game that still needs to be worked on.

Smith did point out that Coutinho suits the current system that Liverpool are undertaking, and is at the heart of everything. He has a lot to offer this Liverpool side, but the 22-year-old can offer even more.

The same was said of Coutinho last term, when he got the five goals for the Reds, but with him seemingly favouring the way the side sets up, perhaps there will be more opportunities to contribute in front of goal.

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