IN just a handful of performances so far, youngster Philippe Coutinho has shown some great flashes of immense potential.
With a goal and a couple of superb assists already, he’s ‘hit the ground running’, as they say.
After his signing from Internazionale in January, I admit to having been slightly sceptical about whether we’d spent another large chunk of money on what people are fond of saying is ‘one for the future’.
Following a number of such signings over the past few years, I was beginning to wonder whether we’d ever sign another experienced international. You’d have to go back to the summer of 2011, when we brought in Stewart Downing to find the last time we brought in an internationally established player.
Sure, Downing may not have lived up to expectations but with a bench with an average age of just 21 against Wigan at the DW on Saturday night, Liverpool looked in danger of losing sight of what it takes to build a strong team.
However, Coutinho showed a great deal of promise on Saturday and in his few appearances so far. He’s busy, works hard and has the vision and application needed to make him an exceptional addition to the club.
So far though, the young Brazilian looks very happy at Liverpool and has had a big smile on his face from day one.
What I’ve seen from him so far has certainly given me confidence that he can fit straight in and become a first-team player; there shouldn’t be any need for a ‘bedding in’ period, but the manager should be wary of the burn out that is often associated with talented youngsters that play too often too soon – just look at what has happened to Sterling.
Much like his countryman, Lucas, the classy-looking playmaker appears to have an attitude that doesn’t usually go hand-in-hand with Brazilian footballers – he likes to work hard and get stuck in, and that will go a long way toward him winning his way into the hearts of many a Red. Myself included.
I look forward to seeing much more of this young man in the end of season run in.