Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the club have made a significant statement in tying down “world class” Philippe Coutinho to a new contract.
Although no official details of his new contract were revealed, media reports said the 24-year-old Coutinho signed a five-and-a-half year extension that will keep him at Liverpool until 2022 and make him the club’s highest-paid player but doesn’t include a buy-out close.
“I will work much harder to repay the belief shown in me. I signed this new contract to stay here for a few more years because it’s a great honour for me,” Coutinho said.
Coutinho has been highly influential this season, helping the side briefly go top of the Premier League in November, and his value to the side was evident when his near-seven week absence with ankle ligament damage coincided with their worst run of form of the campaign.
“It gives me great happiness because I was welcomed here with open arms by everyone at the club and the supporters right from my first day.”
“I think everyone knows what a great footballer Phil is, that is not in question – but not everyone sees what an incredibly positive character he is and what a big influence he is on the dressing room,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.
“I knew of Phil before I came to Liverpool and I was well aware of what a talent he was, but since arriving here I have not only witnessed his ability up close, but also his ever-continuing development. He is truly world-class – in that very top bracket. The fact he wants to stay here and be part of what we are looking to build and develop shows his personal commitment is to make himself better and be an integral part of something that is very special.”, Klopp further added.
The Brazilian is enjoying one of his best seasons and, prior to his injury in late November, had scored six goals in 14 appearances as well as providing Liverpool’s creative spark.
“Jurgen is a great manager. We all can see how much he has changed here since he arrived – and how much he will change in future. He is a winner,” said the 24-year-old.
“It’s not only me, but every other player feels honoured to play at this great club for this great manager. This feeling has a very positive influence on us as players.”
Philippe Coutinho has become a crowd favourite since arriving from Inter Milan for #8.5million in January 2013 and that is another reason why he is happy on Merseyside.
Coutinho has scored 34 goals in 163 appearances since he joined the Merseyside club from Inter Milan in January 2013 and has played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s solid first half of the season.
Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League standings after 22 games, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, who they face at Anfield next Tuesday.