This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Philippe Coutinho's fan club is growing. Liverpool legend Peter Beardsley is a fully paid up member. Beardsley knows a thing or two about tormenting defenders.
He was a wizard with the ball at his feet, scoring 59 goals in 175 appearances for the Reds between 1987 and 1991.
Now the 52-year-old is relishing watching the new kid on the block. Beardsley is excited about what the future holds for the pint-sized Brazilian, who he believes is destined to join Anfield's pantheon of greats.
Beardsley believes Coutinho could one day be spoken about in the same breath as Kenny Dalglish.
"I love Coutinho. He is outstanding and has unbelievable ability," he told the ECHO.
"He's better than I ever was and I really mean that. He's miles better than me.
"If he stays here for a long time he's got a chance of being as big as Kenny - that kind of stature.
"I look at his ability and I think he could be the new Kenny Dalglish. He is a very special player."
Coutinho has won an army of admirers since he arrived from Inter for ï¿½8.5million back in January.
The 21-year-old adapted quickly to the demands of Premier League football as his vision and range of passing lit up the top flight.
Beardsley, who is Newcastle's football development manager, was at St James' Park back in April when Coutinho ripped the hosts to shreds as Brendan Rodgers' side dished out a 6-0 thrashing.
"I watched him closely that day and he ran the game against us," Beardsley added.
"He has such a great understanding of the game. Good players like that know when to get rid of the ball. On the odd occasion he gets caught but not often.
"He's very clever - he's always aware of where his team-mates are and how they want the ball. Some of his passing takes your breath away and he has a great attitude as well.
"It was a smart signing by Brendan. I don't think anyone saw it coming and he was a real bargain.
"He's very much a team player. Look at the pleasure he got from the goal Daniel Sturridge scored against Stoke last weekend. It was only a small thing but I liked that. He's happy for other people.
"Players like that will give the ball away at times because they take risks. But even when it doesn't quite come off, there is excitement among the fans because they can see what he was trying to do.
"A knowledgeable Anfield crowd have taken him to their hearts. They expect all their players, no matter how talented, to work hard and he certainly does that.
"He's an interceptor rather than a tackler but he will run and run and put people under pressure."
If Coutinho can maintain his high standards then Beardsley expects Liverpool to be competing for a Champions League spot this season.
However, he admits that achieving that target has been made more difficult by their rivals' summer spending sprees.
"Liverpool are certainly on the way back under Brendan," he said.
"From my point of view, I was sad when Kenny Dalglish lost his job but you have to move on.
"Brendan is a good manager and has got them playing a good brand of football. How quickly he can get them back into the top four will be interesting. The big question mark for me is how patient the board are prepared to be.
"If they keep backing him then he will keep the club going in the right direction and they will get back in the Champions League sooner rather than later.
"When you look at it, you would have to say the top three will be the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea.
"Arsenal and Tottenham fought it out for fourth spot last season and Liverpool will want to be in that battle this time.
"It's tough because Man City, Spurs and Chelsea have spent a lot and it looks like United are ready to spend too. But if Daniel Sturridge keeps scoring goals and Luis Suarez comes back after his ban and does well then it's achievable.
"In a funny way one of the hardest things facing Brendan is trying to replace Jamie Carragher. What he did for that football club was incredible.
"He was very shrewd getting Kolo Toure in and Liverpool will need him to fill that gap with all his experience, knowledge and knowhow.
"Brendan has bought some good young players but he could still probably do with one or two more big name players."