By Dominic Toner

Jamie Carragher believes that Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho has been the “standout performer” in the Premier League during 2016.

The 24-year-old has continued to develop into a crucial player at Anfield and has particularly shone during this season.

Liverpool slumped to an eighth-placed finish in the league last campaign and missed out on European football, but Coutinho continued to be one of their standout performers.

The attacking midfielder has had a major role in the Merseyside club emerging as title contenders in the second half of 2016, with Jurgen Klopp’s side currently second in the league.

Ex-Liverpool defender Carragher feels that Coutinho has been the best player in the top flight during the calendar year, choosing him over the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, Sergio Aguero, N’Golo Kante and Virgil van Dijk.

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Carragher has overlooked the achievements of Leicester’s individuals in their unlikely title victory, claiming that the Liverpool ace has been phenomenal.

“I think over the calendar year Philippe Coutinho has been the standout performer,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “He’s been injured for a couple of weeks recently, but I think for the full year you have to give it to Coutinho.”

Coutinho has made 14 appearances this season across all competitions, scoring six goals and supplying six assists.

The Brazil international is beginning to show his best form in a Liverpool shirt since he joined in 2013 from Inter Milan.

He has been sidelined since November with an ankle injury, but has put his side in a great position to challenge for the league.

Coutinho has emerged as the star player at Liverpool during 2016 and will hope to continue that form into the next year.

In other Liverpool news, Mark Hughes is surprised that the club sold this player in the summer.