Looking back, Liverpool’s signing of Philippe Coutinho for just £8.5 million from Inter Milan in January 2013 was one fantastic piece of business.
The Brazilian has always shown glimpses of brilliance since his arrival on Merseyside but it seems he’s now capable of producing consistent impressive performances.
The 24-year-old has wowed Premier League fans with his skills this campaign, helping Liverpool sit level on points with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the table with him scoring five goals in nine appearances.
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In recent years, Liverpool have been unable to keep hold of their star players with Champions League clubs tempting players such as Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez to leave Anfield.
And Jamie Carragher realises that could be the case with Coutinho with the likes of Real Madrid sniffing around the playmaker. Before this season, Carragher didn’t believe the Liverpool star was ever going to be good enough to succeed at a club like Madrid but now, he’s adament Coutinho has what it takes to make it at the very top.
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“There used to be a time when I would roll my eyes. Philippe Coutinho’s name would be mentioned alongside a team such as Real Madrid but I never took it seriously,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“Now look at him. Coutinho has become one of the stars of the Premier League, the driving force behind Liverpool’s impressive early form and the key to them sustaining what could yet become a challenge for the title. I’m not rolling my eyes any longer.
“He is playing at such a level that you could put him in the No 10 position of any of Liverpool’s rivals — Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United — and he would fit in seamlessly and enhance their quality.
“His performances are making everyone sit up and take notice, so much so that it has even got to the point where the Brazil legend Ronaldo gave an interview to a Spanish radio station two weeks ago and said he ‘would love to see Coutinho at Real Madrid’.
“The quiet lad who used to make me lose my patience is now making me jump out of my seat. He is becoming Liverpool’s perfect 10.”
It’s very high praise from Carragher but you can’t say Coutinho doesn’t deserve it.
He’s started the season in fantastic form, scoring a brilliant brace on the opening weekend against Arsenal during the 4-3 victory. He then scored against Derby in the EFL Cup, a screamer against Hull before adding another against West Brom.
If he continues this form, don’t be surprised to see Zinedine Zidane and Madrid come calling.