'He's different class': Juninho shares verdict on record-breaking Liverpool star
By Matt Farr
Ex-midfielder Juninho has hailed the impact of Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho in the Premier League.
Coutinho came off the bench to help Liverpool record a comeback victory over Stoke on Saturday, scoring his 30th Premier League goal in the process.
The landmark strike takes him past former Middlesbrough midfielder as the highest-scoring Brazilian in Premier League history, saluting a meteoric rise for the 24-year-old since his arrival at Liverpool in 2013.
The record-breaking Liverpool star has long been talked up as one of the most exciting attacking talents in the world, and Juninho has echoed the praise for his compatriot.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the 44-year-old claimed Coutinho was the currently the best player in Brazil, behind Barcelona sensation Neymar.
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He said: “I am delighted that he takes my record. I can’t think of anyone better. Coutinho can be considered, after Neymar, the best player in Brazil.
“He’s different class and he deserves everything he is achieving because he has worked very hard for it. One of Coutinho’s biggest qualities is that ability to find the space.”
Coutinho made a blistering start to the Premier League season with a brace in the opening day victory over Arsenal.
He contributed a further three goals and five assists from his next 12 league appearances, before a devastating injury setback in November halted his progress.
But he struggled to replicate his fine form in the new year, making a return from his ankle injury against Manchester United in mid-January.
However, he appears to have since rediscovered his magic touch, playing key roles in Liverpool’s three league outings, hitting the back of the net in each game.
In other Liverpool news, Rodney Marsh believes this Liverpool player is the signing of the season (not Mane).