Pundit issues blunt challenge to Philippe Coutinho ahead of Liverpool v Chelsea

The Arsenal legend wants to see Philippe Coutinho step up in Liverpool's home clash against Chelsea

Paul Merson has bluntly told Philippe Coutinho to step up to the mark ahead of Liverpool’s home clash against Chelsea on Tuesday night.

The Brazil international signed a new long-term contract with the Merseyside outfit last week to secure his future at the Anfield outfit after being previously linked with a move to Liverpool.

Coutinho has scored five goals and has made five assists in 15 appearances in the Premier League this season, although the Brazilian’s campaign was interrupted by a serious ankle injury in November.

The 24-year-old has struggled to help Liverpool reverse their miserable run of results in all competitions since his return to Jurgen Klopp’s first-team – though.

However, Coutinho will have a chance to shine in what looks like being Liverpool’s most-important Premier League game of the 2016-17 season when the Reds host leaders Chelsea at Anfield on Tuesday night.

Writing in his Daily Star column, Merson laid down the gauntlet to Coutinho, urging the Brazilian to seize the chance to shine on the big stage.

“It’s one win in seven and if they lose to Chelsea on Tuesday you wonder if they’ll even finish in the top four,” Merson said.

“Those are the games you expect your big players to show up in. Those are the games you pay them the big money for.

“So it’s time for Coutinho to show up. His team needs him. He hasn’t scored since November. Yes, he’s been injured but he’s played seven times since then.

“Those are the games you expect your big players to show up in. Those are the games you pay them the big money for.

“So it’s time for Coutinho to show up. His team needs him. He hasn’t scored since November. Yes, he’s been injured but he’s played seven times since then.

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