Sky Sports’ Rob Palmer and The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe believe this will be a massive season for both Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, with the Brazilian pair needing to really step up and take the Premier League by the scruff of the neck (via Liverpool FC).
Both players have shown glimpses of world-class talent during their time at Anfield, but consistency has been a real issue. Coutinho in particular can score a goal of the season contender one week and be a ghost the next, and Palmer and Bascombe claim it’s time for the pair to stand up and be counted.
“This is his season,” Palmer said of Coutinho.
“This is where he’s got to go from being a very good player and an international quality player to being the player we think he can be – because in flashes he’s world-class.
“We know what he’s got within him and in his good games, he’s exceptional. But it’s having more and more of those good games and repeating the games.”
We need players we can count on to perform every week rather than just in sporadic bursts, so that’s certainly an area Coutinho needs to improve in.
“It’s similar with Firmino,” Bascombe said.
People are looking at him this year. He has not been in the Brazil squad and should be fresher than anybody with a full pre-season.
“If you can get more 9/10 [games], he could be one of the players to watch in August, because when he was good he was really good. If he adds that consistency, it will make a huge difference.”
Despite some phenomenal performances and some big wins against big teams last season, where we finished in the table was unquestionably disappointing. With more consistent performances from some of our best players we could certainly challenge for the title, but the likes of Coutinho and Firmino need to lead by example.
We’re still expecting a number of signings this summer, but we will need our current stars to perform in order to give the best account of ourselves.