Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has conceded that Philippe Coutinho has proven that he can play for any club in the world.
The Brazilian playmaker arrived from Inter in 2013, and initially struggled to make an impact at Anfield as he adjusted to the English game.
However, gradually he has made impressive progress and has now established himself as a key member of the Liverpool line-up, with his goals and creative play ensuring that he has emerged as one of the top players in the Premier League.
In turn, Carragher has been convinced by the 24-year-old over his talent, and after admitting that he didn’t understand the links with Real Madrid previously, he now realises just how good Coutinho is and believes he could play for any major European club and improve them.
“There used to be a time when I would roll my eyes. Philippe Coutinho’s name would be mentioned alongside a team such as Real Madrid but I never took it seriously,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“Now look at him. Coutinho has become one of the stars of the Premier League, the driving force behind Liverpool’s impressive early form and the key to them sustaining what could yet become a challenge for the title. I’m not rolling my eyes any longer.
“He is playing at such a level that you could put him in the No 10 position of any of Liverpool’s rivals — Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United — and he would fit in seamlessly and enhance their quality.”
Coutinho has 25 goals and 26 assists in 116 Premier League appearances in his career thus far, and Jurgen Klopp will undoubtedly be challenging him to continue to improve year-on-year and be a more decisive figure for the Reds.
Nevertheless, Carragher also raises a concern too with his comments that the big clubs around Europe will want to try and prise him away from Liverpool. Whether or not the club is able to fend off any interest and if Coutinho remains committed to them remains to be seen, but the Reds legend certainly has a point about how good and important the Brazilian has become.