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Watch: Philippe Coutinho v. Japan

Wondering where Philippe Coutinho has been this season? Look no further.

Suhaimi Abdullah

Philippe Coutinho has been a largely magical presence for Liverpool since his arrival in January 2013. His through balls, vision, close control, positive attitude, and willingness to work for Liverpool has seen him become a firm fan favourite. In the wake of a notable departure in the summer, Coutinho was viewed as one of the players who would step up as a focal figure for the club. It seemed to be the right time as the Brazilian only turned 22 in June. A dazzling pre-season indicated that all would be well and Liverpool's number ten would shine brightest in the absence of the one who wore seven. So far, disappointment has been the main flavour of Coutinho's offerings to date.

This is not to say that a player cannot have dips in form because players do. Unfortunately, those wearing the red of Liverpool FC are not robots and cannot produce everything expected on demand. Still, the disparity between what Liverpool fans witnessed before the start of the season and the struggles since kicking off against Southampton at Anfield is stark. No goals or assists for one of Liverpool's most creative forces is disappointing, but it won't be long before Coutinho begins to shape football matches again.

There has been a positive development for the diminutive creative force and that's been his recall to the Brazil setup. He is part of the new era under former national team manager and captain Dunga and showed something that Liverpool fans have grown to love: an unerring eye for a sumptuous through ball. Neymar was the grateful recipient of an accurate Coutinho pass for the Barcelona forward's second goal of the match. Brazil eventually ran through as four nil winners in the National Stadium in Singapore and Neymar now has the ridiculous record of 40 goals in 58 matches for Brazil after scoring all four goals. That's just silly.

Coutinho will make his way back from South-East Asia after featuring for virtually the entire second half as a sub. He created one goal and was heavily involved in another, so he can be proud of his efforts. It is hoped that he can show something similar for his club in a month where Liverpool need to build some momentum. With the talent Coutinho possesses, magic is sure to come.

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