Work rate sits at the bottom of the list of things we can praise Philippe Coutinho for, but Jurgen Klopp rightly gives it the recognition it is worthy of.
The Brazilian dazzles us all with his attacking talent on such a regular basis, it is easy to overlook just how hard he works for the team.
It is no surprise, however, that a manager who considers intensity and effort as a priority, is applauding Coutinho for what he offers aside from his creativity on the ball.
Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “For him, he is now 24, his work-rate is outstanding and that’s important for the team.”
“You cannot change this because you cannot be a genius every day, but then you have to be kind of a proper football player still. All good. That’s how the boys are.”
“What can I say? Phil is a good football player, everybody knew that before, I think.”
He deserves all the credit he gets for being able to continue pressing the opposition throughout the game given how much energy he uses when making his driving runs with the ball.
Very rarely do you see him switch off or stop running. He works hard physically and mentally, which is what makes him so valuable to his team’s sustained attacking pressure and tactical discipline.
His work rate has become more obvious this season due to the way he is picking up deeper positions. He is starting to win the ball himself before initiating attacks as well as picking up the loose balls that the central midfielders have won.
The effort he puts into retrieving the ball and making himself available to receive it, is finally getting the appreciation it deserves.