Philippe Coutinho: Attacking Midfielder Would Be Excellent Signing for Liverpool

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2013

PARMA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 26:  Afriyie Acquah (R)  of  Parma FC  competes with Philippe Coutinho of Internazionale Milano during the Serie A match between Parma FC and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Ennio Tardini on November 26, 2012 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Dino Panato/Getty Images

Liverpool fans lamented the team's lack of signings during this summer's transfer window, but it looks as though the Reds fully intend to remedy that in January.

First, the team brought in some much-needed help at forward with Daniel Sturridge. Now, the Reds look poised to land Philippe Coutinho.

From the Metro:

Liverpool look poised to snap up Inter Milan midfielder Philippe Coutinho after the Italian side agreed to sell the young Brazilian for an increased fee.

The Reds have tabled an improved £8 million offer for the 20-year-old and are confident a deal can be struck after the Serie A giants rejected an initial £5 million bid.

Coutinho, who has already appeared for the senior Brazil team and can play in an advanced creative role or as a second striker, is said to be keen on a move to the Premier League.

It was no secret that Brendan Rodgers really wanted to bring in his former player, Gylfi Sigurdsson, to play the attacking midfield role in his 4-3-3 system this summer. However, Sigurdsson scorned the Reds for Tottenham, and Liverpool struggled out of the gate this season.

Coutinho could perfectly fit that role. A classy playmaker, the youngster would look very good in the hole behind the striker, in front of Steven Gerrard—who would be afforded more freedom to roam—and strong holding midfielder Lucas Leiva.

Suddenly, Liverpool look like a threat. Luis Suarez has been in form all season while young winger Raheem Sterling has impressed. Oh, and Sturridge now has a goal in his first three games for the Reds.

Sure, Liverpool could probably use some reinforcements defensively. It seems like a stretch to expect this team to challenge for the Champions League this season. However, when you can add a 20-year-old midfielder who has seen time for Inter Milan and the Brazilian national team—and you can do it at a reasonable rate—things are looking up.

Coutinho has started just four games for Inter this season—he's also come on as a substitution in eight—so nobody should expect him to suddenly dominate the Premier League. However, he's a natural fit as the attacking midfielder in Rodgers' system, and he has the potential to become an Anfield mainstay.

Cheer up, Liverpool fans—this summer was rough, but January has certainly been an improvement. Things are looking up.


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