Philippe Coutinho’s stunning added time goal saw Liverpool see off Bolton and move on into the fifth round of the FA Cup, rounding off a good week for the little Brazilian who recently sealed a new long term contract at Anfield and was the creator of two goals in Liverpool’s win over West Ham last weekend.
Coutinho’s wonderful goal was just another taste of what could be if the “little magician” as he is known by the Anfield faithful can find consistency in his game and more importantly keep on improving on his finishing. In his relatively short career Coutinho's one problem to the disappointment of his manager and teammates has been his finishing, he has scored 10 goals in his 81 Liverpool appearances, a figure he will be hoping to improve in the years his new contract has guaranteed him.
Two player of the month awards at Liverpool this season are an indication of just how highly Liverpool fans rate Coutinho. He has scored 4 goals in the Premier League this campaign and assisted 4, creating a total of 24 chances, should Liverpool have been playing with Daniel Sturridge up-front that assist figure may well be a lot higher but for the rest of the season we could see the two January 2013 signings link up again as they have done so well since their simultaneous arrivals.
Assists are the one thing that Coutinho has not been questioned about in his time at Liverpool, as Sky Sports discussed earlier this week, Coutinho has 16 assists in the Premier League since January 2013, only Santi Cazorla, Eden Hazard and Wayne Rooney have more. His eye for a pass is incredible and his ability to execute that pass is also beyond question.
Brendan Rodgers is clearly a big fan of the attacking midfielder making him an integral part of the starting side. He has the ability to change games as he showed against QPR in Loftus Road earlier this season coming on and turning the game on its head helping Liverpool to win 3-2 in a frantic few final minutes. Despite his criticism in regards his goal scoring, Coutinho has arguably been responsible for Liverpool’s most memorable goal in recent times, snatching the winner against Manchester City in April as Liverpool pushed for the title, a push that ultimately failed.
After his recent form, the man who cost only £8 million from Inter Milan is sure to be full of confidence and gunning to repay his manager for the new contract, in his current form Coutinho is almost unplayable, his close control and skills make him a real threat to defences. He is still only 22-years-old and in the coming years has every chance of becoming one of the best players in the Premier League but his immediate concern will be helping Liverpool get into the top4 places starting this Saturday in the Merseyside Derby.
Stats courtesy of: http://www.liverpoolfc.com/team/player-stats/49794/Coutinho