Brazilian legend Kaka tips his compatriot Philippe Coutinho to become a Liverpool great just like former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard who now graces the pitch for Major League Soccer champions Los Angeles Galaxy.
Liverpool started their 2015-16 Premier League season with a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Britannia Stadium thanks to a screamer from the number ten Philippe Coutinho.
Orlando City’s Kaka is convinced that the 23-year-old is ready to emerge as a leader in Brendan Rodgers’ remodelled team.
“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,” Kaka said, according to the Daily Mirror.
“I have been a big admirer of Coutinho and he can be a very important player for Liverpool and Brazil. There will be a lot of expectations 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.”
Kaka, who was World Player of the year in 2007, also backed another Brazilian to be a big hit at Liverpool as he suggested £29 million summer signing Roberto Firmino to become a big star at Anfield if he is given the time to settle in the Premier League.
“Firmino will be a big player for Liverpool, and will have a good relationship on the field with Coutinho, but the fans must give him time,” Kaka added.
“He has come for a big transfer fee, but still you must remember he is adjusting to a new league and that always takes time.”
Firmino played the final 12 minutes of Liverpool’s game at Stoke last weekend, with boss Rodgers more likely to hand him his first start as his side take on Bournemouth next Monday.