Phil Thompson: Philippe Coutinho becoming Liverpool’s main man

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho is becoming the club's main man, says Reds legend Phil Thompson

Philippe Coutinho can become Liverpool’s star player in the coming season, says Phil Thompson.

The Reds playmaker proved to be Liverpool’s match-winner in their Premier League opener after he scored a 86th-minute striker at The Britannia.

He can conjure things like that out of nowhere and win the match

Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho was named the fans’s and players’s player of the year last term after the 23-year-old scored five goals in 35 top-flight games.

And former Liverpool skipper Thompson believes Coutinho can fill the void left by club legend Steven Gerrard and Barcelona striker Luis Suarez.

“Since Luis Suarez left, and now with Steven Gerrard gone, there’s a massive gap in the side to be filled by a star and Philippe could be the player to fill the role,” Coutinho told Sky Sports.

“I was in Norway last week and all the kids shirts have Coutinho’s name on the back and that shows the star status he has.

“The only thing that has been missing from his play is consistent goal-scoring from midfield.

“None of his goals are tap-ins. Most of his goals are absolute ‘worldies’ and last week’s was certainly a candidate for goal of the month.

“He hadn’t had a great game but he showed what he’s capable of. He can conjure things like that out of nowhere and win the match.”

Liverpool face Bournemouth in their first Premier League game of the season at Anfield on Monday night.

Coutinho has scored 17 times in 103 games in all competitions over the past two-and-a-half seasons since he moved to Liverpool.

MORE: Read the latest Liverpool player tweets

The midfielder moved to Liverpool from Inter Milan in a £8.5m deal in 2013.

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