There’s no doubt that Philippe Coutinho is an extremely talented player; gifted in possession, technically brilliant and thoroughly experienced for someone who is only 20-years-old.
On the surface it seems like a fantastic deal all round but the overwhelming sensation that Liverpool will now experience is everything that comes along with being a small side.
The physical side of Liverpool is now very risky in terms of how the side is going to shape up against other sides who like to bully the opposition.
Teams will look to push the patience and test the officials when they come up against Liverpool because it’s becoming an obvious way to get an advantage against the Anfield based side.
Liverpool have a high ratio of players who are all on the smaller side; Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez, Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Fabio Borini and several more.
It’s dangerous but Liverpool will argue that it’s the direction that the Premier League and football in general is heading in.
They will also argue that they are very much a passing team under Brendan Rodgers and have no need for height, no need to hit the ball long for a player to chest it down, hold it up and bring others into play.
It’s a minor criticism of the direction Liverpool are heading in but not one that is unfamiliar.
Chelsea have adopted a similar approach with three key midfield players who are not exactly heavyweights and Arsenal seem to have based their future around securing the future of several small, young midfielders.
The argument against this is that the rules have completely changed with referees no urged to punish and penalise the most remote of physical challenges, with free kicks, penalties and cards dished out for more incidents than ever before.
Therefore, the number of small, low centre of gravity type of players in the Premier League is simply going to increase.
Smaller players tend to have much more complete techniques in terms of controlling the ball, moving quickly and being able to spot forward passes quicker.
What do you make of the way Liverpool’s midfield is developing?
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