Liverpool hero Ronnie Whelan believes Philippe Coutinho, in spite of his gifted ability, is too careless in possession and frustratingly inconsistent, the Daily Star report.
The Brazilian playmaker has wowed the Reds’ supporters since joining the club, putting in a number of sparkling performances and developing a knack for scoring important goals.
This season, while not quite achieving the same numbers as last season, has still been a success for the 22-year-old with three goals and four assists in 20 Premier League starts to date.
With his age and evident skill set, it’s frightening to think how good he can be further down the line and in a team which has grown together.
However, speaking ahead of the Reds’ clash with Manchester City, club hero Ronnie Whelan feels the former Inter Milan star has a long way to go before reaching the top level and becoming an Anfield idol.
"I am more than a bit concerned with the move to make Coutinho the man who is going to save Liverpool as some, including Rodgers, seem to believe,” Whelan was quoted as saying by the Daily Star.
"He is gifted with some fabulous skills and he is developing a handy habit of scoring important goals. But I'm not fully sold on this lad. At least not yet.”
"My problem with Coutinho is his inconsistency and the amount of times he gives away possession."
|Shots per Game||Key Passes per Game||Take-ons per Game||Touches per Game||Pass Success % per Game||Dispossessed per Game||Appearances||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Coutinho’s ability to influence a game from an attacking perspective is clear although there is perhaps scope for improvement in his passing.
His average pass completion percentage of 80.2% is the Reds’ 17th best in the entire first-team squad of 24 players, and some way below youngster Jordon Ibe’s average of 87.9%.
However, Coutinho’s position and role in the team as playmaker causes him to play more exquisite passes and his average of being dispossessed just 1.61 times per match is not to be scoffed at.
When considering Neymar Jr’s pass success rate at Barcelona is only 79.7% and Lionel Messi’s 82.2% - as per Whoscored.com – then the Reds’ ace’s figures aren’t nearly as daunting as perhaps suggested.