Liverpool's Steven Gerrard says Philippe Coutinho is the next big thing

Philippe Coutinho was named the club's Player of the Year for this season.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has described Philippe Coutinho as 'the next big thing' at last night's end of season awards for the club. 

Gerrard departs the club in the summer and was very complimentary towards the Brazilian who has picked up three awards for his contribution to the side over the course of the season. 

The Reds' skipper - who departs for MLS side LA Galaxy at the end of the season - is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: “This is his night. I think he’s cleaned up tonight on the awards and deservedly so.

“I’m privileged to share a dressing room with him. He’s the next big thing for me.

“I hope he stays here for a long time and can help the club win more trophies.”

Coutinho has certainly been a shining light in a very difficult season for Liverpool where they have failed to live up the heights of last season, failed to make an impression in the Champions League, and were knocked out in the semi-finals of both cup competitions, with the FA Cup defeat to Aston Villa widely criticised. 

But the Brazilian's skills and ability to unlock defences has had Liverpool fans on the edge of their seats, and at the age of 22 there is still a lot more to come from him, even if there are a couple of areas where his critics will still say there needs to be improvement.

There have been more goals from Coutinho this season in big moments, some spectacular efforts against the likes of Bolton, Southampton and Manchester City showed just what he can do, but there is a desire for him to find the net on a more consistent basis given the lack of firepower on display up front this season. 

He has scored a total of eight goals this season in all competitions, and one would expect a player of his quality should be at least in double figures from next season onwards. He does, of course, have a lot of time to improve on that front. 

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