Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that he believes Philippe Coutinho deserves to be considered as "world class" following his man-of-the-match performance against Everton on Saturday.
The Brazilian scored one and created another as the Reds beat their Merseyside rivals 3-1 at Anfield, marking a timely return to form having struggled to reach his best following his comeback from injury in January.
Even more importance is likely to rest on Coutinho's shoulders after Sadio Mane suffered a suspected season-ending knee injury, and Klopp believes that the 24-year-old is capable of helping to fill the void.
"Sadio's absence provides an opportunity for others to step up and take the chance presented. There were great examples of this on Saturday – some outstanding performances. Philippe demonstrated his credentials as a player worthy of 'world-class' status. And I'm not referring to the goal, which was a moment of beauty," he wrote in the matchday programme for this evening's Premier League clash with Bournemouth.
"I mean his all-round performance, sacrificing himself for the team – working as hard defensively as he did offensively. OK, so the goal was nice, but as a coach and manager it's the entire performance you judge and this was a player fighting and battling for his team.
"For him and Roberto [Firmino] I can only say how impressive this was when you factor in the week previous, with their travelling and involvement for the national team. Attitude to mirror their ability – good combination."
Coutinho is now just one goal and one assist short of his best-ever Premier League tallies for Liverpool.