How much can Liverpool expect from Philippe Coutinho this season?

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The 20-year-old notched his first goal on his full debut for Liverpool at the weekend, and the signs are good that he might adapt to life at Anfield far quicker than perhaps people expected.

It is generally presumed that when a talented young player comes to Premier League they will take some time to settle into the rough and tumble style of English football.

As such, although Philippe Coutinho arrived at Liverpool for a reported £8.5 million at the end of January, there wasn't a huge amount expected of the Brazilian player this season, with an assumption that he would be more effective next year having settled into life at Anfield.

However the early indications suggest Coutinho is already ready to make an impact at his new club, and with the style of football in the Premier League perhaps becoming a little more similar to that on the continent in recent seasons, the Brazilian could find it easier to adapt than he would have in the past.

This is especially true at Liverpool, where Coutinho will likely become part of a 4-2-3-1 system regularly used around Europe, and with a style of passing, attacking football he will be comfortable with. Coutinho has not played very much football this season at Inter, meaning that if he is match fit, he shouldn't have any tiredness problems in the rest of the season.

Liverpool also have a fair South American contingent at the club, and fellow Brazilian Lucas Leiva in particular has already vowed to help Coutinho settle in at Anfield.

Liverpool might well be able to turn over the 2-0 deficit in their Europa League tie against Zenit on Thursday, but even if they don't there should be opportunities for Coutinho to see plenty of action in the Premiership.

Liverpool are likely out of the race for fourth place, but have a lot still to play for in the league, not least attempting to overhaul their Merseyside rivals Everton.

Coutinho has the added benefit of being a mostly unknown quantity in the division, and with his talent he could capitalise on that by hitting the ground running in the Premier League.

It’s risky to expect a young player to be able to make an impact immediately after such a big move, but if Coutinho continues to perform as he has started, Liverpool would be mad to underuse him in the next few months.

images: © neate photos, © jclark

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