With no World Cup or Euros to worry about this year, it should be an unusually restful summer for most of Liverpool’s squad. One player who won’t be getting much time off, though, will be the club’s Player of the Year frontrunner, Philippe Coutinho, who will be heading to Chile in June as part of Brazil’s squad for the 2015 Copa America.
With Coutinho a regular in Dunga’s squad this year, there was never any real doubt he’d be joining up with the national team for the summer tournament, but today his inclusion is official. In Brazil’s eight matches since last summer’s World Cup ended and Dunga took over a Selecao in crisis, Coutinho has made five appearances off the bench. On current form, though, he might be in line for a few starts in Chile.
Coutinho was recently selected to the Premier League’s team of the season, and he finished third in voting for Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season honours. The 22-year-old creative midfielder has scored eight goals and added six assists in 49 appearances for Liverpool this season, and has been named Player of the Month by Liverpool Offside readers in October, January, and February.
Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder Oscar, who had regularly started for Brazil under Dunga and would have been expected to fill a similar role as Coutinho, is a surprise omission, which will further boost Coutinho’s chances of seeing significant minutes. However, a recent training injury and the belief Oscar will be fit but lacking match fitness when the Copa kicks off did inform the decision to leave him out.
Brazil’s squad in full will consist of goalkeepers Jefferson, Diego Alves, and Marcelo Grohe; defenders David Luiz, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Danilo, Fabinho, Marcelo, and Filipe Luis; midfielders Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho, Elias, Casemiro, Everton Ribeiro, Douglas Costa, Willian, Roberto Firmino, and Coutinho, and forwards Neymar, Diego Tardelli, and Robinho.