Garth Crooks: Philippe Coutinho can fill Steven Gerrard’s boots at Liverpool

Coutinho Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho can replace Steven Gerrard for Liverpool in the long run, claims former Tottenham Hotspur forward Garth Crooks.

Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Garth Crooks has been singing the praises of Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho on BBC Sport.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has been in brilliant form in recent weeks and has been a key figure in the Reds’ upturn in form.

The Brazil international scored a superb long-range goal against Southampton at St. Mary’s Stadium on Sunday to help Liverpool win the Premier League clash 2-0.

Coutinho’s overall performance against the Saints was also impressive, as shown in the following Opta Stats table.

  Total ShotsShots on TargetTotal DribblesTotal PassAccurate PassTouches
Philippe Coutinho 1 1 1 41 33 55

Crooks was impressed with the former Inter Milan youngster’s performance against Southampton and made a big comment about him.

“What is interesting - since the departure of Luis Suarez and the reduction in Steven Gerrard's first-team appearances pending his exit - is that Philippe Coutinho is starting to look commanding in midfield,” the 56-year-old wrote on BBC Sport. “Coutinho might be the man to fill Gerrard's boots after all.”

Can Philippe Coutinho fill Steven Gerrard’s boots?

Coutinho struggled for form earlier in the season, but he is now on song and will be crucial for Liverpool in the final months of the campaign.

With club captain Steven Gerrard set to leave the Reds at the end of the season, the Brazilian is indeed looking like the player who can step in for the former England international midfielder, at least from an attacking perspective.

However, it must be acknowledged that Coutinho and Gerrard are not exactly the same kind of players.

Moreover, can Gerrard be truly ‘replaced’?

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch