When someone has a kind word to say about Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, there’s never any argument from the Reds faithful. The diminutive midfielder, signed from Inter Milan at a cut rate £8.5mil, has been a smash since arriving on Merseyside and Brendan Rodgers is enjoying every minute of it.
“Philippe has been a snip” said the Anfield man in the buildup to today’s meeting with Arsenal in the FA Cup. “He’s an absolutely wonderful talent. There are very few players at this level now who can penetrate with a pass and play through teams like he does.” We saw the Brazilian’s playmaking skills on full display against the Gunners last weekend with his through-ball to set up Daniel Sturridge’s one on one with Wojciech Szczesny a prime example of his passing prowess.
Quick feet, a quicker mind, vision, pace and tricks, Coutinho has it all and he’s garnered some favourable comparisons to a Portuguese legend that Rodgers worked with during his time at in London. “When I worked at Chelsea I used to watch Deco” continued the Northern Irishman. “He was a bit older than Coutinho is, but I still remember his first training session when he got a round of applause. Coutinho is like that. He has pure quality and can make the difference in games.”
With the Reds trailing 2-1 to Fulham on Wednesday night, the Brazilian was on hand to strike a well worked equalizer for his third goal of the season, adding to his previous strikes against Everton and Manchester City. Although he didn’t find the net against the Gunners, he has another shot later today when Liverpool travel to North London looking for both progression in the FA Cup and a chance to heap even more misery on Arsene Wenger’s side.
With Brendan Rodgers adamant that he’ll name a strong side for the encounter, Coutinho is likely to feature — he’s the perfect man to shred the Arsenal defence, and make £42mil man Mesut Ozil look even more over-priced.