Liverpool are ready to offer Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho a new bumper contract to keep him at the club for a few more years, according to reports in the Telegraph.
The 22-year-old moved to Anfield in January 2013 after he impressed with Inter Milan during the 2012/2013 Serie A campaign. The Reds were able to steal him for just £8 million due to financial problems at the Italian club. Now, the midfielder is described as ‘the brains of his side’ by manager Brendan Rodgers, who praised his youngster during Liverpool’s US tour.
“A new contract for Philippe is something we will look to do over the summer,” said Rodgers. “It’s all in hand. He’s certainly on that list. He’s a valuable player and a great asset to the club. He’s come in here and shown his quality, and really developed as a young player.
“Now he’s moving into the best years of his life as a footballer. He’s 22 and hopefully by the time the next World Cup comes around he will be an important part of the Brazil team, I’m sure his best years will be at Liverpool.”
Coutinho played against Manchester United in the final of the International Champions Cup last evening, and proved again that he has the quality and technique to become one of the most exciting midfielders in world football. He showed off some dazzling dribbles and made the right decisions at the right moments.
His absence in the Brazilian squad during the 2014 World Cup was clearly visible, and Scolari’s decision was slightly remarkable as the extremely talented midfielder ended the season as the Reds’ third most creative player having completed 64 key passes. Only Luis Suarez (87) and Steven Gerrard (67) created more than him, as per Squawka.
Scolari might have regretted his decision to leave him out of the Seleção as his Brazilian midfielders were struggling to create something for their attackers. Despite not being selected, Coutinho worked hard to get fit for Liverpool’s pre-season campaign, and that paid off as Brendan Rodgers was ‘pleased with his great level of fitness.’
With the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona it will be time for ‘the little magician’ to step up his game and keep making progression in order to become one of the best. Last season for the Reds, Coutinho created a staggering 64 chances, getting seven assists. Meanwhile, he also scored five goals in the Premier League last term.
Although the stats clearly show that he is on the right way to the top, Coutinho will have to improve on his goal-scoring, but as Brendan Rodgers also said ‘that’s something he will improve on this season.’
Giving Coutinho a new contract shows that Liverpool are really pleased with his progression, and will mean that the Reds can rely on his services for the coming years. With Champions League football in mind, Coutinho will play against the best midfielders in the world. During those games, he will show all football pundits that he is gradually reaching toward the ‘Champions League’ standard.