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Lucas Helps Coutinho Acclimatize to the Premier League

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By providing guidance based on his own somewhat rocky transition to England, Lucas hopes he can help fellow Brazilian Philippe Coutinho make a smoother start to his time at Anfield.

Laurence Griffiths

A few weeks after suggesting that he would try to fill a "dad" type role for Philippe Coutinho upon the youngster’s arrival in England, Lucas Leiva has fleshed out the help he’s providing to his new teammate on and off the pitch.

"He is still adapting and we were talking about the pace of the Premier League and even in the training sessions he can feel it is much quicker than Italy," Lucas said. "He is trying to play quick because he knows he will need that tempo to be successful.

"It will take him time to settle but a goal will give him confidence and we could see there were positive things from him. Hopefully he will be a great player for now and for the future as well as he is only 20."

Lucas had his own challenges upon arriving on Merseyside nearly six years ago, also at the tender age of twenty, but rather than share those less than positive memories with Coutinho he plans on enveloping him in the South American support system he has developed with Luis Suarez, Sebastian Coates, and their respective families.

"Every single young player who comes to the Premier League finds it difficult and it is going to be the same for him but we have a few South American players who can help him.

"He has the skills and the ability to do well. We just need to keep positive with him and hopefully he will be okay. I really don't tell him what I went through in my early stages, I just told him how he will be successful here."

Established players have always taken younger players under their wings to show them the ropes of first team play, but in the absence of any official support mechanisms in place at the club to help ease the transition, it can be challenging for new recruits to navigate things as obvious as language barriers or subtle as culturally-specific social conventions.

While there’s no way to measure the impact a few rounds of Monopoly on Family Game Night might have on Coutinho settling into Liverpool, both squad and city, there are currently few in the club better than Lucas on whom young Phil could model his future success.