Philippe Coutinho didn’t quite have the cutting edge against Southampton yesterday that has seen him enjoy an explosive start to the Premier League season.
Having said this, he has been playing so well that anything below his usual high standards was bound to spark reaction.
There were fears over his fitness prior to the match after he picked up a knock while on international duty but the Brazilian went someway towards proving his fitness by playing a full game.
Jurgen Klopp has discussed how he decided on whether or not to play Coutinho, telling the Liverpool Echo: “Phil had no big problem, as everybody could see today. We would not have taken a risk if he had, 100% not.”
“Three things are important to me; what the doctor says, what the scan says and what the player says. And all three gave the thumbs up, so we let him run!”
Many picked up on the idea that he was visibly tired, which is why he deserves even more credit.
For him to make the effort to continue getting himself on the ball and making the effort to try and have an impact for 90 minutes, even on tired legs, is a sign of how far he has come.
He means business this season and has matured to the point that he values his own importance to the team.
Things didn’t go to plan for him in terms of his attacking contributions, but he didn’t go missing from the game.