‘Philippe Coutinho can fill void left by Luis Suarez at Liverpool’
Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton backs Philippe Coutinho to shine in the Champions League this season
Philippe Coutinho can have a big impression in the Champions League this season, according to Joey Barton.
The Liverpool midfielder started at Anfield on Tuesday night as Brendan Rodgers’s side were 2-1 winners against Ludogorets in their Champions League opener.
His vision, creativity and passing ability will be instrumental in filling the void left by Luis Suarez
Despite a disappointing performance from the 22-year-old midfielder against the Bulgarians, Barton is tipping the Liverpool playmaker to fill the void left by Luis Suarez.
“Coutinho played a huge part in Liverpool’s impressive season last year: he created more chances for Liverpool (65) than any player except Gerrard and Suarez,” Barton wrote on his website.
“His vision, creativity and passing ability will be instrumental in filling the void left by Luis Suarez, and if he gets the opportunity to play in the hole behind Sturridge and Balotelli he should be able to supply the ammunition they need to progress past the group stages.
“He’s also just been recalled to Dunga’s new Brazil team. His stats last year were pretty impressive: five goals, seven assists, 23 blocked shots and 81% pass completion, and he’s started brightly this year too.
“The only problem is that Liverpool have signed a lot of good attacking players in the summer, and he’s no longer guaranteed a place in the starting line up. But if he does manage to establish himself in the first 11, I fancy him to make a big impression.”