Former Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion forward Garth Crooks has told BBC Sport that Philippe Coutinho has taken up Steven Gerrard’s role in the Liverpool midfield.
Crooks has been impressed with Coutinho’s performances this campaign and has included the Brazil international attacking midfielder in his BBC Premier League Team of the Season.
The Englishman has also claimed that Coutinho will be key to Liverpool winning the Europa League final.
The Premier League outfit will take on Spanish club Sevilla in the final of the prestigious European competition at St. Jakob-Park in Basel on Wednesday evening.
“Steven Gerrard often made my team of the season and largely without any objections,” Crooks told BBC Sport. “Since his departure to LA Galaxy, Gerrard's role in the Liverpool set up - and my team of the season - has been taken by Philippe Coutinho.”
“What a turn up for the books it would be if Liverpool were to win the Europa League trophy simply because nothing else seemed winnable at the time,” added the Englishman.
“However, if anyone can stop Sevilla from winning the Europa League for the third consecutive season, Philippe Coutinho can.”
Coutinho scored eight goals and created 49 chances in 26 Premier League appearances for Liverpool this season.
In 12 Europa League appearances this campaign, the 23-year-old former Inter Milan man, who can also play as a winger, has scored two goals and created 28 chances.
Liverpool were not expected to reach the final of the Europa League, but now that they have come so far, the players will have to give their all to win it.