‘A great human being’ – Gerrard full of praise for Coutinho following return to form at Villa

Steven Gerrard has lavished praise on Philippe Coutinho following the midfielder’s strong start at Aston Villa.

Villa secured the signing of the Brazil international from Barcelona during the January transfer window, bringing Coutinho back to the Premier League on loan after a difficult spell in Spanish football.


The move reunited Gerrard with Coutinho, with the two having previously shared a dressing room as teammates at Liverpool.

The 29-year-old starred during the 3-3 draw against Leeds on Wednesday evening, scoring once and providing two assists, adding to the goal he netted on his Aston Villa debut against Manchester United last month.

Gerrard has been delighted with the impact of the winter window arrival and, speaking to the media ahead of Villa’s clash with Newcastle this weekend, described Coutinho as both a ‘world class star’ and a ‘great human being’.

“His vision is a major strength to him as a player,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “He’s lovely on the eye to watch, his technical ability is high level. I don’t think I have to go on about Phil Coutinho the player, you just have to watch and admire the class with which he goes about it.

“For me, the key thing was to get him up to speed from a physical point of view and we’re still working on that. He can get fitter and stronger and he will do with more training and games.

“Then it was about getting him enjoying his football again, being around the boys, smiling and looking forward to playing. You can see in his performance that he feels this is his stage again.

“He was desperate to come back to the Premier League and we’ve given him everything he needs to go out there and perform. For me, the good thing about Phil is he’s so humble, so level-headed, he’s so grounded that you wouldn’t think you were dealing with a world class star if you spoke to him day-to-day. He’s just a great human being.”

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