Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Gerrard reveals Coutinho impact on Villa team-mates, with star ‘back to his Liverpool form’

Steven Gerrard Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard has revealed the impact of Philippe Coutinho on his Aston Villa team-mates, following the attacking midfielder’s immense display against Southampton on Saturday.

Villa beat Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side 4-0 at home to make it consecutive Premier League victories. They took the lead early on when Ollie Watkins swivelled away from Jack Stephens before finishing past Fraser Forster.

Coutinho was causing Southampton all sorts of problems and could have had two goals before setting up Douglas Luiz for Villa’s second, cushioning down a great Calum Chambers pass.

The Brazil international, on loan from Barcelona, eventually got on the scoresheet in the 52nd minute when his shot deflected in off James Ward-Prowse.

Villa made it 4-0 shortly afterwards when Matty Cash crossed for Danny Ings, who managed to score against his former club.

During a post-match interview with BBC Match of the Day, Gerrard was asked about 29-year-old Coutinho. The manager said (via the Mirror): “We’ve got Phil back fit and in a really good place. He was back to his Liverpool form today and he was a touch above.”

Gerrard then revealed how Coutinho’s form is helping the stars around him. “The other players have got a lift from him,” the Liverpool legend added.

Steven Gerrard calls Coutinho ‘world class’

“It’s about having players running in behind for him and Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings were untouchable at times today too.

“When Phil is in the mood, he’s a world class player. He probably finished my career a couple of years early – he’s the reason I’ve got screws in my knees and groins!”

Villa goalscorer Watkins joined in by praising the ‘sharp’ Coutinho. “Sometimes he thinks too quickly for you, so I have to go off his body movement and sometimes I’ve gone the opposite way,” Watkins said.

Philippe Coutinho of Aston Villa

“He’s too sharp – he thinks quicker than anyone else. I can’t speak highly enough about him to be honest. It’s a joy to play with him, and Ingsy, and hopefully we can do this more often to teams.

“We’ve had a bit of a sticky spell, but we’ve got to find some consistency and be hard to beat. We’ve got a lot of good technical players, so it is about doing the ugly side.”

Villa ‘offer contract’ to Marseille star

Meanwhile, the Villans have reportedly offered a ‘big contract’ to Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara ahead of a potential summer move.

Kamara’s current deal with Marseille expires in June, meaning the player will be available for free once the window opens.

This is good news for Villa, as the star had been valued by the club at £10million just months ago.

According to Jeunes Footeux, Villa have already offered Kamara a big-money contract that would see him join the club this summer.

The report also claims that Gerrard has made the signing a ‘priority’, and is hopeful the deal can be completed quickly.

READ MORE: Steven Gerrard reveals aspect of Villa romp that pleased him most