Pundit: Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho competing with Chelsea duo for award
Garth Crooks tips the Liverpool midfielder to rival Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante for player of the season
Garth Crooks has suggested that Philippe Coutinho would be the player of the season if the Liverpool midfielder had managed to stay injury-free like Chelsea duo N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard.
The Brazil international returned from international duty in sparkling form as the attacking midfielder helped Liverpool to ease to a 3-1 win against Everton in the Merseyside derby on Saturday afternoon.
Coutinho restored Liverpool’s lead in the first half at Anfield with a superb strike after Matthew Pennington had cancelled out Sadio Mane’s opening goal in the eighth minute.
The former Inter Milan midfileder has scored seven goals and has made six assists in 22 games in the Premier League in the 2016-17 season.
Coutinho missed almost two months with an ankle injury which the attacking midfielder suffered during the first half of a 2-0 win against Sunderland back in November.
Writing in his BBC Sport column about Coutinho’s performance’s throughout the season, Crooks named the Liverpool star alongside Kante and Hazard as his contenders for player of the season.
“It’s great to see Philippe Coutinho back in sparkling form again. Regular readers will know that it has been N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard and Coutinho who are my three Premier League stars competing for the player of the season award,” Crooks said.
“Had it not been for his injury sustained earlier in the year, Coutinho might have canvassed enough votes to render himself the clear favourite to receive the prestigious award, as opposed to Kante or Hazard who have both had injury-free seasons.”