Gerrard hails Coutinho 'brilliance'
January signing Philippe Coutinho's "moments of magical brilliance" have given Liverpool just the lift they needed, according to captain Steven Gerrard.
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The 20-year-old Brazil international has played just 202 minutes since his £8.5million arrival from Inter Milan but his impact has already been significant.
He has scored once, had two assists and looked one of the side's brightest players in recent matches and although he has yet to complete a full 90 minutes, having been substituted in his three starts, Gerrard has no fears the youngster will be unable to handle the pace of the Premier League.
"He's got moments of magical brilliance," said the Reds captain of Coutinho, who is already on his fourth professional club having left Vasco da Gama for Italy in 2010 and also spent six months on loan at Espanyol.
"I think you'll see the best of him next season when he gets a full pre-season under his belt and gets used to the speed of the game.
"What he has shown for 55 or 60 minutes is that he's a top player and he belongs in a Liverpool shirt.
"If we can get that for 90 minutes from him next season then he's going to be a great asset for us."
Team-mate Jose Enrique is another similarly impressed by Coutinho's start to his Anfield career.
"The numbers speak for themselves: in four games he has two assists and one goal so I hope he will continue like this scoring goal and making assists," said the left-back, who combined well with the Brazilian in the build-up to Liverpool's first goal against Tottenham last weekend.
"He is the type of a player, as a big team, you have to have.
"He can create from nothing in a one versus one. He is playing really well right now and he is the type of player we need.
"Defenders are important but you need people who can score goals and we have now."