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Who needs Luis Suarez when you have Philippe Coutinho?
There’s certainly no keeping Liverpool or Brendan Rodgers out of the news this morning as the Reds boss looks to put his own stamp on the squad he inherited less than a year ago.
Rodgers has gone about his business with impressive efficiency and diplomacy during a somewhat trying first season at Anfield. Now he knows he has to plot the way forward.
There will be new signings, of course, and there is already plenty of speculation on that front, but the future of Luis Suarez remains top of the agenda for headline writers up and down the country.
The controversial Uruguayan, who received a ten-match ban for you know what, was such a key player before his latest indiscretion and one Rodgers does not want to sell.
Some papers are suggesting, however, he may be forced to sell – presumably by the Anfield board – whilst the manager insists he’s under ‘no pressure’ to do so.
Either way, help is at hand and closer to home than some might have imagined a few months ago. And it comes in the diminutive shape of rising samba star Philippe Coutinho.
The 20-year-old Brazilian, who joined Liverpool from Inter for £8.5million in January, has been a revelation and the impact he has made has even come as a big surprise to Rodgers.
The Reds boss said: “When you bring somebody in during January you hope they can make an impact. You are also looking at it as a six-month adaptation period before you get the best out of them, so we are all pleasantly surprised by how well he has done.”
What is perhaps more significant amidst all of this is how Coutinho stepped up to the plate, showed endless flashes of brilliance and announced his arrival when Liverpool were deprived of the services of Suarez.
In fact, it’s fair to say, that during the run-in Liverpool did not miss Suarez at all. Much of that being down to the brilliant Brazilian who could provide the answer to one of Rodgers’ biggest summer questions.
So why shouldn’t the Liverpool manager cash in on Suarez – and Andy Carroll too – and invest in other areas of the team? Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge running riot next season....now there’s a tantalising prospect.
Just a thought....
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