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Benitez Backs Coutinho to Shine for Liverpool

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has backed Philippe Coutinho to have another excellent season for Liverpool. The former Reds manager does not believe the summer saga which saw Coutinho request a transfer to Barcelona will have any bearing on the Brazilian’s performance.

Benitez welcomes his former team to St. James Park on Sunday afternoon and he is aware of the threat Coutinho poses to his side, “I understand some players, they are thinking about going because they have big offers, but Coutinho is in a very good team, a very strong club.

"So, I think he will be fine and he is scoring goals already. I know him because he was my player at Inter, when he was a young player.

"He is a very good player and, to be there, I think he will be fine. You can understand, players receiving massive offers but, anyway, he is in a top side."

The Spaniard managed Coutinho briefly during an ill-fated spell at Inter Milan, “He was 18, now he's a much better player, more experienced.

“He was very shy at that time but a nice lad, worked hard. He had the potential and the quality, so he was making a difference in training.

“I remember some of his runs against one of the senior players, who couldn't keep up with him. He had the talent."


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