If there were pyjamas with Philippe Coutinho’s face on them available somewhere, former Liverpool midfielder Craig Johnston would wear them.
The South African-born ex-Red is the latest to heap praise on the Brazilian, paying tribute to not only his blessed technical ability but also his refreshing approach off the pitch.
“Philippe Coutinho is an absolute jewel in the crown. Not only does he have the clever bits, the genius, but he has the running mentality – he keeps running and keeps running,” Johnston told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He’s the best of both worlds. This boy is so nice off the field as well, I met him in America when Brazil were playing.”
“He’s just perfection, there’s nothing wrong with any of his make-up. He’s as good as it gets in a football package [because of] his mentality as well.”
Coutinho was arguably the best player in the league during the opening months of last season and only saw his strongest form in a Liverpool shirt end as a result of an ankle injury that sidelined him just before the turn of the year.
Though his inspired run of performances were cruelly halted, they did serve as proof that he is closing in on being ready to take his game to a world class level- something Reds feel he is capable of doing next season.
Jurgen Klopp has an abundance of talented attacking assets at his disposal, but it is Coutinho who most fans would perhaps identify as the main figure. The deeper midfield role he looks set to feature in when the Premier League begins has the potential to be the start of the Brazilian taking responsibility and moulding into the team’s undeniable talisman.
Now is the time for him to take the monumental step up fans know he is ready for.