Paul Merson: Forget Philippe Coutinho, this is Liverpool’s best player

The ex-Arsenal midfielder doesn't consider Philippe Coutinho to be Liverpool's most-important player

Paul Merson has named Sadio Mane as Liverpool’s best player ahead of Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazil international put pen to paper on a new long-term Liverpool contract on Wednesday to secure his future at the Anfield outfit amid speculation suggesting the attacking midfielder could move to La Liga side Barcelona in the future.

Liverpool were without Coutinho for the best part of two months after the Brazilian playmaker suffered a serious ankle injury during a 2-0 win against Sunderland at Anfield in late November.

However, Coutinho returned to first-team action earlier this month while Senegal international Sadio Mane headed off to the Africa Cup of Nations to leave Liverpool without another key player.

Klopp’s side have only notched up one win in seven games in all competitions this season to leave their top-four challenge in doubt.

Speaking to Daily Star about Coutinho’s new contract, ex-Arsenal and England midfielder Merson claimed that Mane is more important to the Liverpool team.

“I don’t even think he’s Liverpool’s best player. Sadio Mane is probably more important to them and they’ve really missed him,” Merson said.

“Coutinho played in both legs of the EFL Cup semi final against Southampton and Liverpool didn’t score.”

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Coutinho moved to Liverpool in an £8.5m deal from Serie A giants Inter Milan in the 2013 January transfer window.

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