Not every Liverpool contract remains unsigned and gathering dust for months. In January Philippe Coutinho claimed he had not discussed extending a deal that still had three years remaining. In February he committed his future to the club until 2020. The exception is developing into the exceptional at Anfield.There was a moment during Monday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United that underlined the confidence coursing through the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year nominee at present. Gliding away from Tim Krul’s goal with three Newcastle players for company, Coutinho removed the trio from the equation with an outrageous backheel to Alberto Moreno inside the penalty area. The applause from Brendan Rodgers continued long after the attack had petered out.
Coutinho provides “that gold dust to how we play”, the Liverpool manager once said. Against Aston Villa in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final, it is only the pursuit of silverware that concerns the 22-year-old forward for whom – unlike Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Martin Skrtel, three players who commenced contract negotiations earlier but have not reached agreement – the future at Anfield is clear.Liverpool have always shown a great warmth to me so when they came to me with a proposal I did not need to think twice to renew the contract,” explains Coutinho. “I have always been looked after very well by this football club and I am very happy at this football club, so I didn’t even have to think about it.”