It’s silly comparing players to one another when they’re not in direct competition for a jersey, especially when they play in different positions – but the fact Coutinho’s name is being mentioned in the same breath as Luis Suarez is a serious compliment.
Our former Uruguayan forward, arguably the best footballer on the planet right now, left to join Barcelona in 2014 and in truth – we haven’t been the same since.
But our offensive performance against Arsenal last weekend, which saw Coutinho start in a front-three with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane draw comparisons to the 2013/14 attack of Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling – due to it’s pace, excitement and trickery.
Jurgen Klopp though was coy when asked whether Coutinho could live up to his former team-mate.
“Ask Suarez if he ever scored a free-kick like Phil [did on Sunday]. I’m sure he scored many great goals, but not a lot like this!
“But we are all different, so why should we compare one good player with another?” Klopp told the Mirror.
“He is in an unbelievably good way and hopefully he’s as fit as he has ever been since I’ve been here,” he continued.
“He only had cramps, nothing more, and he is training normal. That is a very good sign and base for a good season.”
“Now we have to make sure it stays like this and see where it takes us. Consistency is the base.”
In fairness, Suarez scored countless beautiful free-kicks for us – but the important thing about Klopp’s quotes is the confirmation of Coutinho’s fitness!
Our Brazilian magician bagged two against Arsenal and we’d love him to do the same against Burnley at Turf Moor today.
The 23-year-old can be as good as he wants to be. Remember, we signed Suarez when he was 23 – and Coutinho is arguably at a similar level to the South American at the same age.