Steven Gerrard hailed Philippe Coutinho’s tremendous performance in Aston Villa’s win over Southampton in the Premier League.

Aston Villa are one of the few Premier League teams who do not have much to play for. They are neither in danger of being relegated nor in contention for any European places. Yet, their win over Southampton has its own significance.

This is a team Steven Gerrard is trying to build from its base, and despite some bumps on the road in recent weeks, they seem to be back on track. Villa recorded a smashing 4-0 win over Southampton, who have been on song lately. The victory highlighted the importance to the team of Philippe Coutinho, who has had a difficult few years in his career.

The Brazilian struggled in Spain following his record move to Barcelona from Liverpool. His spell at Camp Nou could best be described as disastrous, barring the one season where he was on loan at Bayern Munich, helping the German side win the treble.

He has found a new lease on life since joining Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona in January. The Brazilian has already declared himself happy to be at the Midlands club, following impressive performances since landing from Catalonia.

His showing against Southampton yielded a goal and an assist, which was crucial in the context of the game. There is plenty more expected from the attacker before this season ends, and a decision on his future remains to be made.

Following Villa’s victory, manager Gerrard hailed the impact of the Brazilian on his side. As quoted by the Daily Mail, Gerrard said, “We’ve got Phil [Coutinho] back fit and in a really good place – he was back to his Liverpool form today, and he was a touch above. The other players have got a lift from him. It is 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 is 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!”

With plenty of games left in the season, there is plenty of time left for Coutinho to make a further impression with Aston Villa.

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