Philippe Coutinho still having influence as Liverpool ace makes honest admission

Philippe Coutinho of Al Duhail competes for the ball with OTAVIO MONTEIRO of Al-Nassr during AFC Champions League match between Al Duhail and Al-Nassr at Khalifa International Stadium on November 7, 2023 in Doha, Qatar.

Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool without ever having won a trophy. The Reds had lifted the League Cup six months before he arrived, and would claim the Champions League within 18 months of his departure.

Liverpool then finally won the Premier League the following season. Nor is it unreasonable to suggest that Coutinho leaving made it all possible, with his transfer to Barcelona directly funding moves for Alisson and Fabinho (and the club no doubt knew it would be making the sale when it committed a record sum to Virgil van Dijk, too).

That's probably the main way in which his influence is still being felt at Anfield. But to be fair, the brilliance he brought on the football pitch in his own right has not been forgotten.

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Though it goes down as perhaps the worst-ever piece of transfer business by Barcelona, there is a reason it decided to sanction such a huge spend, still the third-most-expensive deal of all time. Especially in that final six months at Liverpool, Coutinho had ascended to new levels, and was genuinely one of the very best in the world.

In 19 games for Liverpool across the Premier League and Champions League in the first half of 2017/18, Coutinho recorded 12 goals and eight assists. That's more than one goal contribution per match, while spreading his minutes between attacking midfield and the left wing.

And while he wasn't so prolific for his entire Anfield spell, he would always be one to inject a touch of magic into proceedings. One player who hasn't forgotten that is Fábio Carvalho.

“That’s a very big compliment,” Carvalho said to the ECHO, when told he has been likened to Coutinho. “I still watch videos of Coutinho to this day.

“Just watching him, it’s kind of my style of football. It’s obviously not the exact same because everyone is different, but I try to learn from the best and he’s certainly been one of the best in the past few years for Liverpool so it’s a great compliment.”

Carvalho also revealed that the Liverpool dressing room was baffled when his minutes dried up in his debut Anfield campaign. After a stalling start to this season with RB Leipzig, he has got back on track with Hull, and will hope to impress new manager Arne Slot — if he channels Coutinho, he'll be on the right track. says: In a strange way, maybe Carvalho's similarities to Coutinho are what made it hard for Klopp to fit him in. The Liverpool team comprehensively evolved beyond the Brazilian playmaker, and even in his pomp, there was a sense that the manager was compromising his preferred system to fit in such a talent.

Whatever the reason for Carvalho's limited minutes in his first season, Slot represents a blank slate. And the playmaker's confidence should be high after a prolific loan at Hull.

He has some way to go before he hits peak Coutinho levels, but you can see where the comparisons come from. Hopefully he is not the same harbinger of silverware droughts, having endured a trophy-less 2022/23 before being loaned out for this year's Carabao Cup success.