Liverpool Believe Coutinho Has Experience Beyond His Years

Jasper Juinen

Despite his relative youth, Liverpool midfielder Lucas and assistant manager Colin Pascoe both believe Philippe Coutinho has the experience to make a difference straight away.

Liverpool's signing of Philippe Cotinho marked the arrival of another young talent at Anfield, one more piece in an increasingly youthful puzzle Fenway Sports Group hopes will one day lead the club back into the Champions League.

This focus on youth may not be a universally popular approach, with many continuing to worry about a lack of veteran savvy, but midfielder Lucas Leiva believes the 20-year-old Coutinho has enough experience to make a difference straight away despite his lack of years.

"Coutinho is a very talented player," said Lucas of the club's newest signing—a signing that came after a conversation between Lucas and Coutinho where the young attacking midfielder revealed his interest in switching to the English side. "He is very young but he has a lot of experience already. I had the chance to watch him when he got his first cap for Brazil a couple of years ago as we were both in the team.

"He is a proper Brazilian with a lot of skill and he likes to play with the ball and score goals. He had a very good spell at Espanyol when he was on loan last season and I think he will be a great player for the future for us. I think he will be able to cope."

Assistant manager Colin Pascoe agrees, insisting that despite his age, Coutinho will be able to cope with the pressures of playing for Liverpool and of the Premier League. In particular, he believes that time spent in Spain shows an adaptability to his game that augurs well for his chances of now adjusting to England.

"What we have got there is a young talent who has played a lot for Inter Milan and Espanyol," said Pascoe. "He is a young lad but what we have seen of him he can handle this type of pressure and he will be a good asset for us."

However, Pascoe also revealed that Coutinho is unlikely to be available until Liverpool face West Brom next week—meaning anybody hoping to at least see him on the bench against Manchester City on Sunday is likely to be disappointed.

"He has to sort a few things out in Milan," he added, "but he'll be back next week and he'll be ready to start straight away and he will be a great addition to the squad."

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