Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists Philippe Coutinho‘s strength belies his diminutive stature and relatively young age, and praised the No. 10 for his surprisingly quick impact.
The 20-year-old Brazilian has proved a revelation in the Barclays Premier League since joining the Reds in January from Inter Milan.
His winning strike against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday was his third goal in 13 appearances, adding to a string of sumptuous assists.
“When you bring somebody in during January you hope they can make an impact,” the manager reflected. “You are also looking at it as a six-month adaptation period before you get the best out of them from preseason onwards.
“We are all pleasantly pleased and surprised by how well he has done. His numbers tell you the story in terms of goals and assists. At the minute, you can’t ask any more. The key thing is that he works his socks off as well. He is a real team player.”
Supporters have been equally impressed by the attacking midfielder’s willingness to work defensively and courage in the challenge — qualities which Rodgers has observed too.
“We are all pleasantly pleased and surprised by how well he has done. His numbers tell you the story in terms of goals and assists. He’s been a real find for us in terms of the price we paid.”
“He has genuine man strength,” the Northern Irishman added. “He’s 20 years of age but he’s not a boy. He can look after himself. His body work is great, he is small in stature.
“The best players very rarely get tackled because they are so bright and clever. You can see he can use his body if needs be, but he has to become adapted to the physical game here as the Premier League is very physical.
“He’s been a real find for us in terms of the price we paid. Hopefully his value will be much greater than the cost in the coming years.”
Photo via Liverpoolfc.com