Phil Thompson underlines Philippe Coutinho's importance to Liverpool.

Daniel Sturridge’s first start since October at Villa Park last Sunday overshadowed Philippe Coutinho's return to the Liverpool side, and ex-Red Phil Thompson hailed the Brazil star as he spoke of how important he is to Jurgen Klopp's team.

Coutinho was in Klopp’s starting line-up for the first time since he got injured in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Stoke City in the League Cup in January.

And following his return to full fitness, Liverpool great Thompson spoke of how key the midfield maestro is to the Merseysiders.

“Much of the hype was around Sturridge at Villa Park, but Coutinho was as important with that creative spark in the final third, while Roberto Firmino looks like he’s got used to the Premier League now and his performances have been very good,” Thompson told Sky Sports.

“The movement between the front three was terrific and they’ve got to be very confident right now.”

The 23-year-old has scored five goals and has made five assists this season for Liverpool.

Read More: Klopp hails Matip.

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