BBC pundit: Philippe Coutinho is Liverpool’s best player, better than Raheem Sterling

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho outshone teammate Raheem Sterling in the 1-0 defeat at Hull City on Tuesday.

Former Chelsea star and current pundit Pat Nevin told the BBC that Philippe Coutinho is a better all-round player than Raheem Sterling after impressing in the 1-0 defeat at Hull City.

The Reds struggled to break down the Tigers during their disappointing loss at the KC Stadium, with Sterling in particular putting in a rather sub-standard performance.

Their most likely source of breaking the hosts’ stubborn defence came through Brazilian playmaker Coutinho, who in contrast to his England international colleague looked positive and full of ideas.

The former Inter Milan forward has been one of the highlights in an otherwise poor campaign for the Merseysiders, prompting Nevin to label him the Reds’ best player.

"Coutinho looks the best player in the Liverpool team at the moment. His movement is good and his head is always up,” he told the BBC.

“I would suggest he is a better all-round player than Sterling but if you add the pace Sterling has got, in the modern game it gets you an extra 50 grand a week."

Is Philippe Coutinho the Reds’ best player?

  Goals per GameAssists per GameChances Created per GameTake-ons per GameBall Recoveries per GameAppearances
Raheem Sterling 0.23 0.23 1.62 2.77 4 13
Philippe Coutinho 0.13 0.13 2.33 3.47 6.4 15

Certainly since the turn of the New Year, Coutinho has been the Reds’ most creative player and that can be demonstrated by the Opta Stats table above.

Sterling may have scored and assisted more on average per Premier League fixture, but his teammate has created more chances, completed more successful dribbles and recorded more ball recoveries.

One side of Sterling’s game which needs working on is his belief to really cause damage in the final third. He has all of the ingredients needed – pace, trickery, close ball control.

However, unlike Chelsea’s Eden Hazard for instance, the 20-year-old will take on one defender and then seemingly stop or slow down. Where is the drive? The confidence to really stretch the opposition?

Having turned down the offer of a lucrative new deal, per the BBC, Sterling needs to prove that he is worth that extra effort the Reds may require to ensure that he remains at Anfield for the foreseeable future.

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