Philippe Coutinho extends contract with Liverpool till 2020
Liverpool attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho has agreed a new deal at the Merseyside club. The new deal will tie him up to Liverpool till 2020. The 22-year-old’s previous contract ran till 2018, but Liverpool were eager to reward him for his performances and tie down the ‘potentially world class’ player, as described by manager Brendan Rodgers, to a long term deal.
Rodgers was delighted with Coutinho’s new deal and was most excited about the youngster’s potential. He signed from Italian club Internazionale two years ago for £8.5 million.
Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com, “I'm delighted that Philippe has committed his long-term future to us; he is clearly going to be a big part of our story in the years to come.
“The most exciting thing isn't just how good he is now, it's the further improvement he can make in his game. In terms of potential, he can still become even better.
“He deserves all the credit in the world for the attitude he has shown since coming to Liverpool. He arrived as a young man, in a country he'd never lived in before and joined a club where expectations are high. He has shown a willingness to listen, learn and improve.”
The club has given me the opportunity and believed in me: Coutinho
Coutinho expressed his delight at signing the long-term deal and said he was eager to get it over the line as soon as possible due to the fans’ support and the stature of the club.
“I'm really happy. It's a dream come true playing for this great club and being part of this squad. Today I've committed my future to the club and for this I'm feeling very pleased,” Coutinho remarked.
“This club is great and the fans have always supported me, so I've been eager to sign this new deal since conversations started. Today is a very happy day.”
“It means so much. This club has given me the opportunity to play and believed in me even though I hadn't been playing regularly at my previous club.
“I've had a great reception since my first day here. As I always say, Liverpool is a big family and I'm a happy person here.”
“Happy that Sturridge is back”
Coutinho, himself, praised Rodgers, crediting the formation change as the reason behind his good run of form. He also said he was excited at the prospect of linking up with Daniel Sturridge again.
The Brazilian said, “The new formation has been giving me and all the players more options of play. There's always one or two players next to us and this makes it easier for us to keep ball possession. I believe we have been adjusting well to this new formation.
“We all know how good a player he (Sturridge) is. We miss him on the pitch when he's not alongside us.
“His return will be a massive help as he gives a great contribution to the team by moving up front and scoring goals, which is one of the things he does very well. We're all happy for him to be coming back to the field.
“As excellent a player as he is, it will be a big boost for the team and particularly for the other great attacking players we have.
“His return will represent a lot for the entire team – he scored a lot of goals last season and the opposition respect him as a player.
“It surely will be a huge help for us and everyone is happy for him personally as he's a great character.”