Garth Crooks makes controversial claim about Philippe Coutinho and Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho is Liverpool's only hope of a top-four finish, according to Garth Crooks

Garth Crooks believes Philippe Coutinho offers Liverpool’s faint hope of finishing in the top four this season.

The Reds made a winning start to their Premier League campaign on Sunday afternoon after a 4-3 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Coutinho proved influential in north London as the Brazil international cancelled out Theo Walcott’s opener before the 24-year-old scored a second sandwiched between goals from Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane.

The South American was unable to inspire Jurgen Klopp’s side to a fourth-place finish last term as the Reds ended up in eighth place following an inconsistent campaign.

While Crooks doesn’t expect Liverpool to finish in the top four, the former Tottenham forward says Coutinho offers the Brazilian an outside chance of Champions League football.

“I don’t expect Liverpool to finish in the top four, but if they do, it is likely to be down the genius of Coutinho,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

Coutinho has scored 30 times in 146 appearances in all competitions since the Brazilian moved to Anfield from Inter Milan in a £8.5m deal in 2013.

MORE: The latest Liverpool news and views

MORE: The latest Liverpool player tweets

Liverpool will travel to promoted side Burnley in their next Premier League fixture at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon.

Sir Alex Ferguson Liverpool FC
Photos: Sir Alex Ferguson reacts to Man United’s 5-0 loss to Liverpool FC
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Man United v Liverpool FC
Jurgen Klopp
Rivaldo urges Leeds United star Raphinha to move to Liverpool FC
Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher reacts to ‘special’ Liverpool FC’s 5-0 thrashing of Man United
Michael Owen
Michael Owen states his prediction for Man United v Liverpool FC
Sir Alex Ferguson Liverpool FC
Photos: Sir Alex Ferguson reacts to Man United’s 5-0 loss to Liverpool FC
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Man United v Liverpool FC
Jurgen Klopp
Rivaldo urges Leeds United star Raphinha to move to Liverpool FC
Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher reacts to ‘special’ Liverpool FC’s 5-0 thrashing of Man United
Michael Owen
Michael Owen states his prediction for Man United v Liverpool FC
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature