After another strong showing in which he was one of the few bright spots in Liverpool's disappointing 0-0 draw against West Ham on Sunday, Philippe Coutinho shows no signs that the honeymoon period will be over any time soon. He modestly chalks up his success thus far as being part and parcel of playing next to other skilled players, notably everyone's favourite Uruguayan with whom he wants to one day "achieve great things."
"Suarez is a fantastic player," the Brazilian said. "It is an honour for me to play with him. It is so much easier to play alongside a player like him because he is always on the move, he never stays still. When you have the ball it is much better for you to have a player like that because you can open the defence much more."
Coutinho is reaching back to his days spent playing futsal as a child, where the pace and skill needed to compete are helping him keep up with Suarez's dynamism. While that may not have been the case against West Ham with Suarez having an atypical bad day at the office, an understanding is forming between Coutinho and his new teammates, aided and abetted by using Spanish as a common tongue amongst the players.
"We always communicate on the pitch in Spanish, he speaks Spanish and I understand it. I spent six months in Spain so can get by quite well with it. It is not only [Suarez]. The other players are always trying to help me get better.
"The manager communicates with me in Spanish and always asks me to come into the middle and try to open the play to the wide areas or go straight on. He’s playing me in the position I like best, on the left, but able to come inside."
Six months at Espanyol may not make Coutinho a polyglot but the football vocabulary he's gained has obviously been enough thus far to benefit both his and Suarez's game. Without putting too much pressure on the player, it's generally hoped that if this is what the unfinished product looks like, Coutinho has an exciting future ahead of him at Liverpool. If language is a key component of his growth, who knows how much better he'll get once he starts learning a little bit of Scouse.