Jürgen Klopp believes Philippe Coutinho is only at the beginning of his recent development.
The Liverpool No.10 carried his outstanding club form onto the international stage during the past week, helping Brazil to two wins in World Cup qualifying and scoring with a trademark drive against Argentina.
Coutinho’s efforts for his country were simply a continuation of the performances which have contributed to the Reds reaching top spot in the Premier League before the break.
A trip to Southampton looms for Klopp’s side this weekend and as he previewed the game, the manager explained his view that there is still much more to come from the attacker.
He told a reporter from Brazil at Melwood: “My feeling and my opinion is that he fits really well here. We all hope and think that his future is here at Liverpool.
“But everybody forgets when they think about Phil that he is still very young. So you say ‘Now he is the player we dreamed of’. Nice. He’s 24, so still young and a long way to go and a lot of space for improvement and a lot of space for development.
“But, of course, he is now at the age where the skills, in a mixture with experience from the past, give you more consistency.
“And with the teammates around, he’s getting better and better. Hopefully, the way has only started and has not finished. I’m sure it has only started, so that’s all good.”
Coutinho’s colleague for club and country, Roberto Firmino, was also away with Brazil but was restricted to eight minutes as a substitute.
Klopp quipped: “One thing for Brazilian football, congratulations to this team – as long as you can play without Roberto Firmino, you must have a wonderful team! And you are big favourites, for me, for the next World Cup!”