Like every football fan does when they’ve heard that their team has signed a player, I went straight on to YouTube to check out Philippe Coutinho. Just liked every footballer on YouTube, he looked like a good player. However anyone (including myself) could look world class through the use of decent editing software. So to see if Coutinho is the real deal, I went back and watched quite a few Inter Milan and Espanyol matches, to see if Coutinho can cut it in the Premier League.
After seeing Coutinho play, or even seeing his physique it will not escape you that he isn’t the biggest, strongest, or widest of footballers. Standing at around 5ft 8, 20 years of age, his physicality is not his strength. However this does not mean he can’t make an impact in the Premier League. The likes of Juan Mata and David Silva aren’t the biggest, yet they have a significant impact when playing for their representative teams.
Coutinho comes straight from the Brazilian 2002 World Cup-winning team model; an swift, petite, and incredibly skilful young man in the vein of Silva, of Lionel Messi. Quick feet combine with a clever mind to produce an unpredictable, dangerous and entertaining player who has the tools to open any defence in the world on his day.
Coutinho has a knack for scoring breathtaking goals for fun, as shown during his time in La Liga, and rarely chooses the easy option when confronted with the choice. With a combination of blistering pace and a deft touch with both feet, the attacking midfielder exerts confidence with the ball and can find himself in strong positions all over the pitch.
Coutinho will have to work on his discipline and work-rate, knowing that he cannot rest for a second. Being in this current Liverpool team means that each and every player has to be tracking back or pressing the ball, and if even one player does not do their job high up the pitch, it can have unfavourable consequences. Brendan Rogers has created a side that balances a distinct passing style with a direct edge. Coutinho’s physical attributes have been questioned, but a push for strength could compromise his pace and trickery on the ball. Working in a similar position to Raheem Sterling might be the ideal solution, as a central role could expose his weakness from challenges.
Written By Chris Haroun