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Philippe Coutinho has been unquestionably one of Liverpool’s standout performers over the past couple of years and the only Reds player who has really threatened to come close to filling the void left by the departure of Luis Suarez as the focal point of the team’s attacking play.
The Brazilian might have reason to be frustrated with Liverpool’s 8th place finish last term, but he should for now at least stay put.
Coutinho’s quality was quickly evident within a few weeks of his £8.5 million arrival from Inter in January 2013. He was clearly blessed with great natural technical ability and the only question was going to be whether he would adapt to the physical nature of the Premier League and be able to do a solid all-round job for the team.
He has since flourished into one of the league’s best players, improving with every year and he is unquestionably now at a level where his talents deserve regular Champions League football.
However, the Brazilian won’t even be in the Europa League next season and the Reds are probably only one more poor campaign away from being in a position where they are likely to see another of their star players leave.
The Klopp revolution
For now though Coutinho surely will remain at Anfield and give the Klopp revolution a chance. He is probably not quite at the level yet where he could go to one of the top sides in Europe and walk straight into the team and he ought to be well aware that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side as Raheem Sterling’s first season at Manchester City would testify.
This coming campaign certainly has a 2013-14 feel to it with Liverpool not in Europe and able to focus on the Premier League without any major distractions.
It will also come after Klopp’s first real opportunity to re-shape this team with some players he genuinely wants rather than has inherited.
Despite their Europa League final defeat it is still an exciting time for Liverpool fans and the coming season is likely to shape Coutinho’s long-term future at the club.
If he can continue his trend of improving with each passing season then the Brazilian will surely start to capture the attention of the some of the continent’s biggest clubs and that is why it is pivotal that Liverpool at the very least finish in the top four this coming season.
Coutinho will be integral to Liverpool’s efforts in the 2016-17 campaign again and with the attacking midfielder gradually becoming more important for Brazil, he could be a key player for his country by the time the 2018 World Cup comes around.
Whether he is still a Liverpool player then remains to be seen but with hopes still high that Jurgen Klopp is the man to really get this club on an upward curve, there is no reason why Coutinho can’t achieve real success at a domestic level on Merseyside but it could ultimately be a question of how patient he is willing to be.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!
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