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Couthinho Hoping to Learn from Strike Duo

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The presence of Philippe Coutinho has added a different dimension to Liverpool's attack, but the young Brazilian is keen on reaping benefits of his own by playing with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.

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Michael Regan

Efforts to downplay or temper expectations for Philippe Coutinho are admirable and spot-on, and should be repeated ad nauseam until he's at least a few years older. He's a young player with quite a bit of talent in a new league who's also managed to dazzle more often than he's disappointed, but there's no guarantee that this type of form will continue. Mix in the suffocating pressure of a media collective that's just as eager to tear one down as they are to build one up, and talk of more sensible expectations--much in the same manner as we saw with Raheem Sterling--is needed.

And yet I'm not interested in listening at all. He's too much fun to watch, he's too talented, and, by all indications, he's too perfect for this earth. I think. Whatever the case, I know he's going to struggle at some point, as he did against Chelsea a few weekends ago, but that's not going to detract from the joy that I get watching him play and letting my expectations for his future run wild.

What furthers those expectations is the pitch-perfect tone he tends to strike in interviews during his first few months at the club, which he again found in talking about the impact of playing with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez:

"(Sturridge) is an excellent player and very intelligent. He has a lot of technique and scores a lot of goals - I am very pleased to play alongside him. Luis and Sturridge move a lot and that makes things easier for the player with the ball - we can put the ball in the empty space and I think that makes things easier for the player that plays behind them. By playing with huge players like the ones we have at Liverpool I can learn a lot and I hope to be able to learn more every day to get better and better."

It's too bad he'll have to wait an awfully long time to find himself paired with Suarez again--most estimates have the Uruguayan returning in October, or you know, never, so for now we'll have to settle for watching him and Sturridge further an understanding that looked to be lacking in their first few outings together. Based on last Saturday's evidence, that's not exactly the worst consolation prize possible.