MADRID, Spain, Nov 16 – Xavi Hernandez has paid Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho the ultimate compliment, branding him as the best midfielder in Europe at the moment.
Coutinho has been linked with a move to Barcelona and Xavi has no doubt that the Brazilian will excel at the Nou Camp.
Despite this, the former Barcelona midfielder feels that Coutinho should stay at Liverpool as he will continue to develop under manager Jurgen Klopp.
Furthermore, Xavi feels that the midfielder offers the Reds a “real chance” of winning the Premier League.
“Coutinho is a player I have always thought is special – but under Klopp he has gone up another level,” Xavi told Goal. “On form there are not any better midfield players in Europe.
“He has always shown quality but now he is consistently playing well and that is good news for Liverpool if they want to really challenge for the title.
“He is playing under one of the most intelligent coaches in Europe. Klopp has a lot of experience at developing world-class players, so it is a good club for him to be at.”
While Xavi firmly believes that Coutinho would be hugely beneficial to Barcelona and actually improve the star-studded squad they currently have, the 36-year-old has advised the 24-year-old to stay at Anfield and continue to ply his trade in England.
“When you play at the level he is there is always going to be talk, but for now he needs to ignore all that and stay focused, because I think Liverpool have a real chance this season,” Xavi added.
“There are not many players that can improve Barcelona, but if you are asking me if he is one of them, on this form, I think he is. Technically he is very good. He would suit Barcelona’s philosophy well.”
In the 12 games he has played for Liverpool in all competitions this season, Coutinho has been in superb form as he has scored six goals and notched up six assists.