The omens were there back in early August when Liverpool dismantled a competitive Borussia Dortmund side 4-0. A Brazilian was the star of the show with his non-chalant flicks, turns and an exquisite outside of the boot pass for Daniel Sturridge. The fortunes for both the sides on the pitch, though plummeted as the season began. They got bad, and they got worse. Dortmund ended up bottom of the league while Liverpool endured their worst start of the season for 50 odds years.
Into March now, both sides have turned around their seasons. Dortmund are heading to safety and possible European places, Liverpool are charging towards the top four. And the Merseyside club’s rise has seen some of their young, techincally gifted players coming to the fore. Leading them is of course Coutinho who had shone on that balmy summer afternoon against the German side.
The signing from Inter Milan has to be one of the best bargain buys by the club in the past decade. With two stunning goals in his last two Premier League games, each worth their wait in gold with regard to Liverpool’s top four prospect, Coutinho has well and truly arrived on the scene. And there is no looking back on his inconsistency now. He used to disappear in away matches, now he dictates the tempo dropping deep from his position in between the lines, and is a major threat for teams who have the double headache to deal with him along with the other number 10 in Lallala. He is easily best Liverpool player this season.
He is a joy to watch. And he has created more clear cut chances than any other Liverpool player this season whilst also ranking amongst the top five dribblers in the Premier League.
Having signed a new five and a half year contract, Coutinho has upped his levels and is on the way for a third consecutive player of the month award at the club. Rodgers said after the game, “Coutinho is a joy to watch. He’s a kid who has so much ahead of him in the game. He’s a sensational footballer.”
“He is very selfless and very humble, always creates for others. He has wonderful body movement around the edge of the box.”
“He’s a star in the Premier League but there are improvements he can make. He’s a young player, playing at club that adores him.”
“He is a player that has always assisted and made the final pass in his career.”
“He is a very selfless player and a very humble young guy who would rather create for others. We are encouraging him to shoot more often.”
He has a wonderful body movement around the box, he doesn’t need many touches to shift it and shoot, as you saw with the phenomenal shot to beat Joe Hart at that angle.”
His technique is at a high level so he is going to score more goals. He is now arriving into the right areas more often. He starting to get success and that encourages him to shoot more.”
If Coutinho can maintain such high levels of performances, Liverpool’s strong run is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.