Orlando City SC star Kaka believes that Liverpool and Brazil should build their team around Philippe Coutinho. Coutinho has become an increasingly influential figure at Anfield in the last 12 months, and scored a superb winner in Liverpool’s 1-0 win at Stoke in their Premier League opener.
The former Ballon d’Or winner says Coutinho can replace Steven Gerrard as the fulcrum of Liverpool, and become a leading player for his country too.
“I have been a big admirer of Coutinho and he can be a very important player for Liverpool and Brazil,” he told The Mirror.
“There will be a lot of expectation on him with Liverpool fighting to get back into the Champions League, but I know that he can handle it.
“One great player doesn’t make a team, but you can build a team around one great player, and I believe he can be that player.
“Coutinho is a humble guy. He won’t talk about being able to replace a legend like Steven Gerrard, and the truth is nobody could ever replace him, but with Gerrard gone they do need somebody to step up – and he can do that.”
Liverpool signed another Brazilian over the summer in Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim. While Kaka has high hopes for him too, he has warned Liverpool fans not to expect too much, too soon.
“Firmino will be a big player for Liverpool, too, and will have a good relationship on the field with Coutinho, but the fans must give him time,” said Kaka.
“You must remember he is adjusting to a new league and that always takes time.”