Philippe Coutinho: Breaking Down What Young Talent Would Bring to Liverpool

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJanuary 23, 2013

MILAN, ITALY - DECEMBER 02:  Philippe Coutinho (R) of Inter and Ezequiel Munoz of Palermo compete for the ball during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and US Citta di Palermo at San Siro Stadium on December 2, 2012 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Philippe Coutinho is the perfect target for Liverpool

Not only is he a legitimate long-distance scoring threat capable of contributing right away in the Premier League, but the 20-year-old has tons of potential that would be crucial for the Reds' current rebuilding process. 

But before you go making plans for the "Welcome to Anfield" parade, know that this isn't yet a done deal. 

It's just reportedly close (via The Guardian's Andy Hunter):

Liverpool hope to agree the transfer of Philippe Coutinho on Wednesday despite the midfielder's claim that he wants to stay and fight for his place at Internazionale.

The Anfield club had a bid of around £8m rejected for the 20-year-old Brazilian last week but negotiations have continued and Liverpool are confident an improved offer will be acceptable.

It's Wednesday and nothing has happened, but it's clear Brendan Rodgers is more than intrigued by the young Brazilian. 

We shouldn't act like the starlet is going to come in and instantly propel Liverpool to mounds of silverware. In fact, a recent "highlight" video of Coutinho was made, and because it's so atrocious, I'm having a hard time figuring out if it was a joke or not. 

His statistics for the Nerazzurri this season aren't overwhelming, either. 

In Serie A play, Coutinho has received just three starts and 10 total appearances (via In those matches, he has found the back of the net only once and been given an average match rating of 6.45.

Coutinho's play has significantly improved in five Europa League starts this season, but again, his numbers aren't eye-popping. 

Nevertheless, let's not forget that the reported price of £8m is perfect for Liverpool's rebuilding phase and that the 20-year-old, who still has loads of development left, is already very talented.

Despite what his numbers and that one YouTube poster might tell you, he has an array of skills:

More than anything, Coutinho is a goal-scoring threat. He can score from anywhere out to 25 yards and is very adept at free kicks.

The Reds, who are sixth in the EPL in total goals scored this season, aren't exactly dying for help in that area, but Coutinho is a versatile player (he has played left, center and right forward as well as center attacking midfielder this season) who would add another long-distance threat to the squad. 

Moreover, he is extremely creative with the ball at his feet and would bring with him a welcomed playmaking ability. Just consider this incredibly impressive stat (via Who Scored):

Philippe Coutinho: Completed more successful dribbles (22) than any other player in the Europa League group stage this season

— (@WhoScored) January 23, 2013

Does Coutinho alone save Liverpool? No way. But does he make perfect sense for a January signing when considerably less movement is taking place?

Without a doubt.