Philippe Coutinho says he gave Roberto Firmino the incentive to join Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho has revealed that he gave teammate Roberto Firmino “loads of incentive” to join Liverpool in the summer.

Firmino joined the Reds in the summer from Hoffenheim for around £21 million – a fee which could rise to £29 million, as reported by the Liverpool Echo – and the Brazil international started slowly at Anfield as the side struggled in the dying embers of Brendan Rodgers’ reign.

The attacking midfielder has enjoyed something of an upturn in fortunes since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival last month and caught the eye in the 1-0 win over Bournemouth in the League Cup before playing an important role as a false No.9 in the 3-1 win over Chelsea on October 31.

With Coutinho in the side as Klopp’s premier playmaker, it is difficult to see how Firmino can establish himself in his favoured position behind the striker, but the 24-year-old was told to join Liverpool whilst on international for La Selecao.

“I don’t know if I had any influence on his arrival, but I gave him loads of incentive when I knew there was a possibility [of Firmino joining],” Coutinho told Sky Sports’ televised show Barclays Premier League World.

“I was in the national team with him and I told him: ‘You have to join’. The truth is, he’s a great player and I’m happy he is here. I am happy to be playing alongside these good players.

“As I always say being part of the national team in Brazil is a privilege and it is so hard to stay in the team because there are loads of players that are in Europe. “

Coutinho also reserved a word for Klopp after seeing his own form improve under the charismatic former Borussia Dortmund coach.

The ex-Inter Milan youngster had endured a frustrating campaign after beginning the season with a stunning goal in the 1-0 win over Stoke City on the opening weekend, but three goals in his last two games have seen a return to the kind of displays that have caught the eye since his arrival on Merseyside in January 2013.

“I’ve been working a lot on what he wants,” added Coutinho. “He is a very experienced manager and for a while, he shows affection to all of us and is quite open.

“He speaks to everyone and has given us confidence and I think we are on a good path.”

Klopp has Daniel Sturridge available to him again ahead of the visit to Manchester City on Saturday, but the striker is expected to be part of the substitutes in Manchester after failing to feature under his new boss after picking up a knee injury in training in a collision with Jordon Ibe.

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