With the crazy transfer fees some clubs are spending on players today, it is hard to believe that Liverpool only had to spend £8million to buy Philippe Coutinho from Inter Milan in January. Not many of Rodgers’ signings have been hits since he arrived at Liverpool but Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge have to be the managers best buys. And both arrived in January so hopefully January is his luck transfer window and we could get another quality player this window.
Liverpool have been missing Coutinho since he picked up a shoulder injury against Swansea at the start of the campaign. But the Brazilian playmaker is fit again and made his return against Arsenal on Saturday. Although the Reds went down 2-0, the biggest positive to come out that match was the return of Coutinho. Even though he only played for 45 minutes, he was voted the man of the match by Liverpool fans.
Brendan Rodgers has been speaking to the Liverpool Echo and was full of praise for Coutinho and how he seems to have been a snip at £8million. Rodgers said, “We brought Coutinho on and he made the field a little bit narrower whilst allowing us to maintain the two up front.
“And he was terrific when he came on. He’s a wonderful player and we would’ve loved to have started him but he’s only come back into the fold, and got the medical clearance, in the last couple of days. But his introduction gave us the opportunity to control the game more with the ball.
“He’s a wonderful player and a big talent for around £8m.
“He is remarkable. His feet, his talent and his ability on the ball.”
There is no doubt that the Liverpool team is certainly better with Coutinho in it. Against Arsenal, Coutinho came on and played largely on the left side of the field but you can be sure that he will be used more centrally by Rodgers in the upcoming games as that’s where he is most effective from.
With Liverpool having switched to playing a 3-5-2 formation in Coutinho’s absence, it was a struggle to fill the ‘number 10’ position in that system. Victor Moses was being used there by Rodgers but the Nigerian forward struggled. It is a position tailormade for Coutinho and now that he is fit again, hopefully Rodgers will continue with the 3-5-2 and we can see Coutinho flourish just behind Suarez and Sturridge.
With Liverpool playing Fulham at Anfield this weekend, you can almost be guaranteed that Coutinho will start this game as the Reds look to bounce back from the Arsenal defeat.