Following Steven Gerrard's ranking of Philippe Coutinho alongside the likes of Michael Owen, Fernando Torres, and Luis Suarez as one of the most dangerous attacking players he's ever taken to the pitch with for Liverpool, Jose Enrique has joined in heaping praise on the young Brazilian.
"It’s easy to play with good players," Enrique said. "Everyone says sometimes me and Luis link well. I think Luis is a top player, it’s easy to link well with him. With Coutinho, it’s the same thing. He’s a very good player, you can see his amazing talent and he’s still really young.
"Luis had a really good year after just six months here before. Now you can see the real Luis, with how many goals he scores. With Coutinho, it’s going to happen the same I think. You can see how well he is doing but I think he’s going to improve a lot more."
Some might question Enrique's recollection of events when it comes to Suarez, as after the instant impact following his January arrival in 2010, the following season in many ways was one the striker might like to forget with its lengthy suspension and vilification in the press.
On the pitch, meanwhile, alternating between trying to develop a viable partnership with Andy Carroll and leading the line himself, the eleven league goals in 31 appearances pale in comparison to the 22 in 32 he's managed so far this season.
Few, though, will doubt that Enrique's right when he speaks of Coutinho's ability to improve just as much as Suarez has in England. After starting his time at the club unable to last much past the 60 minute mark, the young Brazilian has already begun to play full matches.
He's also shown the ability to tear apart not only the league's lesser sides but also any club higher up the table that makes the mistake of trying to put instant pressure on him—pressure he usually can beat, opening up space to exploit that didn't exist for him in Serie A.
Sides like West Ham and Stoke, sitting ruggedly compact, seem the only ones holding any kind of answer so far to a player who became one of the most exciting at Liverpool the minute he signed from Inter for a mere £8.5M. And the likes of West Ham and Stoke do tend to have that effect on almost every player in the league.
"If he improves after what he has been doing already he is going to be a top player for us," added Enrique. "He’s a really calm player; he doesn’t talk much but he’s always joking."
Early returns at least would seem to have the joke being at Inter's expense, and if Coutinho can indeed continue to improve as Enrique believes he can then Liverpool could end up with two of the most dangerous—and entertaining—attackers in England.