Carragher: This Liverpool player has awoken from mid-season slumber
By Harry Sykes
Jamie Carragher praised Philippe Coutinho on Sky Sports for coming alive from his mid-season slumber in recent weeks.
The Liverpool playmaker scored his 10th league goal of the season to give his side a 1-0 lead against Crystal Palace with a magnificent free-kick at Anfield on Saturday.
But Christian Benteke levelled with a smart finish from a low Yohan Cabaye cross shortly before the break to set up a fascinating second half in the Premier League fixture.
Anfield legend Carragher was impressed by the quality of Coutinho’s goal after he had won the free-kick that he then converted, and also noted the Brazilian’s improvement following a difficult period earlier in the calendar year.
“He has come alive these last couple of months,” Carragher said on Sky Sports 1’s live coverage of the Liverpool-Palace match. “You were thinking PFA team of the year, one of the top six players, he was right in the running until he got an injury here three or four months ago.
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“He wasn’t the same when he came back but now he is showing what he was at the start of the season, that he is one of the top players in the Premier League.”
Coutinho has scored 10 goals and supplied six assists from 27 Premier League matches, with only Roberto Firmino and the injured Sadio Mane finding the net more often.
Mane has scored 13 league goals from 27 matches, while Firmino has struck 11 times from 31 appearances in the competition.
In other Liverpool transfer news, the club are clear favourites to sign a world-class playmaker after a dramatic development.