Christian Benteke and Roberto Firminho may well be the marquee signings by Liverpool this summer, but it's their little midfield maestro who will be the key player for Liverpool this season.
Philippe Coutinho, the number 10 who was signed from Inter Milan for £8.5 million in January 2013, wowed fans last season with some spectacular goals, pinpoint assists, sublime passes and deft touches that earned him Liverpool's Player of the Year award. And Gerrard was full of praise for his ex-colleague at the awards night before leaving for LA Galaxy.
Gerrard was quoted as saying: "He cleaned up all the awards and deservedly so. He's the next big thing for me. I hope he stays for a long time and helps us win some more trophies."
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And his performances didn't go unnoticed by Brazil Manager Dunga who included him in the Brazil squad for the Copa America.
Liverpool fans saw him add goals to his game last season in the Premier League, something which has been lacking from his repertoire.
Liverpool need Coutinho this season
Coutinho is thriving in the number 10 position that Brendan Rodgers has entrusted in him, giving him the freedom to roam and dictate the game by picking up the ball in pockets of space only few players can do. Liverpool need Coutinho as much as he needs them.
Even Brazil legend Pele praised his "talent" last season when he spoke to Sky Sports before the Manchester United game in March.
The 23-year-old Brazilian from Rio De Janeiro has already become an important player for Liverpool and has all the hallmarks of becoming a world class player if he can continue to perform consistently and build on his game.
His game is similar to David Silva and Santi Cazorla, and whilst both those players scored more goals and created more chances in the Premier League last season, Coutinho has only one full season at Liverpool under his belt.
He's still young and if Brendan Rodgers continues to believe in him and get the best out of him, he will be the key to success at Anfield this season.
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