REUTERS – Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho believes he has become a more complete player and said he is always striving to make himself better after putting in a string of fine performances in recent weeks.
The 23-year-old Brazilian picked up the club’s player of the season award after he scored five goals and set another seven in the Premier League last season and helped the Merseyside club to a sixth place finish and a spot in the Europa League.
Coutinho had a quiet start to the campaign but has burst into life under the stewardship of new manager Juergen Klopp and has scored four goals, including a brace in the Reds’ dismantling of champions Chelsea on Oct. 31.
“It’s been personally a good year for me, with big moments, some good goals and receiving awards,” Coutinho, who scored in Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Manchester City on Saturday, was quoted as saying on the club’s website (www.liverpoolfc.com).
“To be named the best player at Liverpool was an honour and not something I could’ve imagined a few years ago. I’m more complete, with more confidence and different experiences to learn from.
“I feel that I’ve grown a lot as a player (over the last year). I’ve spent time working on the areas I knew I needed to improve, like scoring more, and I still have to push myself but I’ve come a long way.”
“I’m playing all the time, I’m learning and becoming stronger so this is all good for me,” he added.
“Every game day is special for me. Every day is a new chance to grow, and that is what I want. Team trophies will be important. That is a main thing. I always want to be better.”
Meanwhile, skipper Jordan Henderson, who broke a bone in his foot during training, has said he is close to first-team action after being on the sidelines for over two months.
“I’m getting there. This is one of the longest periods of time I’ve been out for and that has been tough for me. Hopefully I’m not too far away now,” Henderson told Sky Sports.
Liverpool, who sit ninth in the league table, go into Sunday’s league game against an out-of-sorts Swansea City knowing a win could see them go as high as sixth in the table.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)