When Philippe Coutinho signed for Liverpool back in the 2013 January transfer window for a fee of £8.5 million, it would be fair to say that many of us had not see him play. Supporters weren’t exactly sure what the club had just signed and were wondering whether it would be another transfer gamble. As we sit here a couple of years later, Coutinho is now being referred to as the main man and a transfer steal from Inter Milan.
Philippe Coutinho started his Liverpool career brightly with assists and the odd goal to add to his performances. The club have had Brazilian players such as Fabio Aurelio and Lucas Leiva although Philippe Coutinho was considered the most ‘Brazilian like’ player we have had in the recent years. When he picks the ball up in midfield you know watching he can out think anyone and do something magical. No surprise he is known as the magician. One of the early attributes as supporters we noticed was not only how composed on the ball he was, but his vision was on another level. The ability to cut teams open with passes only others can dream of playing suggested he was a player worth more than £8.5 million. It had people like me wondering, why did Inter Milan sell a player with so much talent for such a little price? It’s almost as if Inter Milan doubted him as a player.
As Philippe Coutinho entered his second season for the reds, supporters were expecting big things from this talented man from Brazil. As the season progressed he was able to provide Brendan Rodgers more consistent performances. I felt his second half of the season was outstanding with more goals and assists and for that he was praised from football fans around the world. With the World Cup around the corner in his home country, it was almost certain he would be named in Brazil’s squad.
I remember the day Brazil’s World Cup squad was announced. I was at school sitting in class simply looking for one name. I was in a state of shock to not see Philippe Coutinho not named in Luiz Scolari’s squad. For the brilliant performances he put in towards the end of Liverpool’s 2013/14 title charge, he deserved to be in that squad. Simply looking at the other players Scolari had picked, he had more to offer than most.
As the World Cup passed the 2014/15 season was upon us. After a blistering pre season more expectation was put on Philippe Coutinho which also came from the departure of superstar, Luis Suarez. Coutinho started the season slowly which led to him being left on the bench only 3 weeks into the season against Tottenham. People began to question whether he was mature enough to carry such an important role for Liverpool. Modern football fans are far to quick to criticise and that is proving in Coutinho’s recent performances. Very much like his 2013/14 season, he was written off early and has come to life as the 2014/15 season has progressed. Big goals from Coutinho against Southampton and Manchester City have helped Liverpool get in reach of the top 4. With his performances reaching a world class level, it has helped Liverpool regain that confidence that was so crucial right throughout last season. I feel when Philippe Coutinho plays well, Liverpool play well.
Every season that goes by we see an improvement in the young Brazilians performances. Even during the tough periods that he has experienced, he has come back a better player. I have heard some Liverpool fans during the tough periods he experienced write him off. Luiz Scolari doubted him when it came to the World Cup. Maybe even Inter Milan didn’t believe in him. As we stand here today though, I believe he is showing all the doubters what he can do. He’s such a humble person who doesn’t doubt himself. He will succeed and become a top player because he doesn’t let others put him down and always backs himself. He’s the type of player that wins big games and big trophies. As a fan base we should be confident going forward knowing this man is part of a young and exciting side.