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Liverpool have gotten off to a mixed-bag start so far this campaign.
A 4-3 against Arsenal is a great result, especially considering they were playing away from home.
But if the win against the Gunners was good, then the loss against Burnley was terrible. It is clear Liverpool’s problems are in defense, however, despite scoring four against Arsenal, not everything is rosy up front.
Massively relied upon
At the moment, the Reds are massively reliant on Brazilian Philippe Coutinho.
The playmaker is starting to become the new Steven Gerrard, simple as that. His free kick against Arsenal was hit with such perfection, that even the Liverpool legend would have been pleased with it.
But the comparison is drawn by their ability to influence games.
When Coutinho has a bad day, Liverpool don’t score, which was much the same with Steven Gerrard.
The little Brazilian controls the tempo of the game. He is the man who connects the forwards to the midfield and as a number 10 he is great at finding space in between the lines.
Coutinho is now also becoming one of Liverpool’s main goal scorers. Since he first moved to England his stats have improved year on year, scoring three, five, eight and twelve.
He already has two this season and it seems as though he can’t score a normal goal, every time he scores it seems to be a worldie.
Solid partnership with Firmino
Although it is still early days in the season, Klopp seems to be pushing Coutinho to be shooting more and more, with a Premier League-high 11 shots already this season.
Coutinho already looks to have formed a solid partnership with newcomer Saido Mane and fellow compatriot Roberto Firmino.
His link up play with Firmino in particular has been nothing short of spectacular.
Klopp has already recognised this and was happy to heap praise on his young midfielder after the game against Arsenal, calling his relationship with Firmino as excellent.
The German was also complimentary about the playmakers work ethic. ‘What’s impressed me most about since I’ve been here is his work ethic.’
How can he improve?
To his general play there isn’t much more that Coutinho can do, he has started scoring goals, he creates lots of chances and gets assists.
The only thing left the magician can do is improve his consistency.
Unfortunately, his injury record isn’t great. I hope Liverpool have those legs insured for as much as Ronaldo’s!
Keeping Coutinho fit and firing is the only way Liverpool will make the top four.
Liverpool’s most important player
At the moment he is undoubtedly the Reds’ most important player, he is the guy who knits everything together and finishes everything off.
Much like Gerrard he has the weight of Liverpool on his shoulders, which is where the burden can come from, but if the Brazilian keeps performing like he can, Liverpool have a great chance at sealing a top four place.
Written by Edward Wade
Follow Edward on Twitter @wade_edward
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