Date: 25th January 2013 at 3:56pm
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Interesting article on a player we have supposedly signed: Able to play wide on either flank and behind the striker, Coutinho is blessed with incredible pace, skill and creativity.

Interested observers should look beyond the eye-catching dribbles and step-overs that pepper the highlights reels, and see the unexpected efficiency in his play. In netting seven goals over the past year he has taken just 40 shots, which stands comparison with almost any player. Often viewed as selfish, he has created 25 goal-scoring opportunities for his team-mates in the same period, while completing 77 per cent of his passes – mirroring the contribution of Liverpool’s in-form striker Luis Suárez this term. Moving to a team such as Brendan Rodgers’, with a desire to retain possession and constantly move the ball, would only improve that rate, while his accurate crossing would be a major asset in the Premier League.

Despite being just 5ft 7in, Coutinho has improved physically thanks to an intelligent training programme that took care not to harm his natural attributes and has left him much more difficult to dispossess. As such, he has conceded possession just 10 times this season. He has also proven to be adept at pressing defensively, winning 1.8 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game during his time in La Liga. Those numbers dwarf similar players, with Carlos Tévez averaging 0.8 and 0.5 per game respectively, despite his reputation as a hard-working forward.

Written by Windlespur