BBC Pundit: Liverpool boss needs to build a team around Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has made Garth Crooks' Team of the Season.

Pundit Garth Crooks feels Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers needs to build a team around Philippe Coutinho amid speculation over fellow star turn Raheem Sterling’s future, the BBC report.

The Brazilian international has had a superb campaign this season, contributing five goals and five assists in 35 Premier League appearances.

His eye-catching performances have won over a number of leading pundits, including former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, who told The Sun in March how much he enjoys watching him in full flight.

However, the impending departure of Steven Gerrard and almost certainly Sterling, is a real blow for the Merseysiders – leaving Coutinho as arguably their stand-out player in terms of real quality.

His contributions at Anfield next season could play a key role in the club’s short-term future and Crooks believes Rodgers must build a new team around for the former Inter Milan ace.

“This lad has had the most fabulous season for Liverpool and he is seen as a major part of the club's future under Brendan Rodgers,” Crooks explained.

“So imagine what Philippe Coutinho is thinking at this moment having seen the departure of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and almost certainly Raheem Sterling in the blink of an eye.

“What Rodgers must do now is put a stop on any further departures and tell Coutinho that he intends to build a team around the Brazilian.”

  GoalsGoal AssistTouches per gameAccurate Passes per GameKey Passes per GameBall Recoveries per GameAppearances
David Silva 12 7 83.53 57.47 2.91 5.88 32
Philippe Coutinho 5 5 67.66 36.69 1.69 5.26 35

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Coutinho’s ability to influence matches is evident and Rodgers needs to find a way of utilising him more.

In comparison to Manchester City’s David Silva, the 22-year-old’s contributions are dwarfed by his rival but arguably only because the Citizens find the Spaniard with greater regularity.

Rodgers’ side are built on the philosophy of dominating possession with the use of speed and high intensity – traits which may need tweaking if they wish to get the best out of their leading star.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch