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What Philippe Coutinho's Return from Injury Means for Liverpool

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool runs with the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on November 2, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
John RichardsonCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2016

Philippe Coutinho has been sidelined for a large part of Liverpool's start to the 2013-14 Premier League campaign, and his return to health will only serve to enhance a squad bursting with confidence.

The little Brazilian came off the bench in Saturday's 2-0 loss at the Emirates, and although there were clear signs of his ability on the ball, there was little he could do to stop a rampant Arsenal side.

Coutinho made an instant impact on Merseyside following his £8.5 million move from Inter Milan in January and showed no signs of slowing down in Liverpool's opening fixtures. Since the shoulder injury, Liverpool have lost three out of their last six matches in all competitions and have only managed wins against bottom-dwellers Sunderland and Crystal Palace.

For Brendan Rodgers, Coutinho's re-emergence will provide an added dimension of attacking flair alongside Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez as well as serve to complement Liverpool's free-flowing style of football, according to the official club website.

He's a player that can control a game; he has got that wonderful gift and ability to control. You saw his imagination, looking for those passes to penetrate. It's great news for us.

The Brazilian certainly has no shortage of confidence and will be hoping to make a push for a spot in Luis Felipe Scolari's World Cup squad come June.

In recent fixtures Liverpool have lacked the cutting edge that made them one of the Premier League front-runners just a few short weeks ago. Jordan Henderson has provided a less than dynamic option in the midfield and has often failed to get involved in the final third of the pitch.

So long as Coutinho is able to maintain full fitness and mount a good run of form, Liverpool can expect to see instant results in the number of chances they create and, in turn, goals they score.

On his own, Coutinho does not have the attributes to affect a game in the same way a player like Cristiano Ronaldo can, but the skill he displays as a linkup man in the midfield is nearly unparallelled.

With one of the best young attacking midfielders in the game and arguably the deadliest strike duo in Europe, Rodgers should be licking his lips at the possibilities that lie ahead in the coming months for Liverpool FC.

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