Aston Villa
manager Steven Gerrard on Friday hailed Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho
for his instant impact since returning to the Premier League and underscored
his humility as an attribute that makes him stand out.

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29-year-old has scored two goals and has provided three assists since joining the
Midlands club on loan from Barcelona last month.

Coutinho has
proven decisive in Villa’s positive results in recent games, scoring and
in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United last month before scoring
and laying on two assists in the 3-3 draw against Leeds United on Wednesday. He
was forced off with an injury against Leeds but will be fit to face Newcastle
away on Sunday.

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While he did
not directly contribute in the 1-0 win against Everton before the international
break, his performance has attracted praise from fans and pundits alike.

“He was
desperate to come back to the Premier League and we’ve given him everything he
needs to go out there and perform,” Gerrard, who was teammates with the
Brazilian during their time together at Liverpool, said.

“For me,
the good thing about Phil is he’s so humble, so level-headed. He’s so grounded
that you wouldn’t think you were dealing with a world-class star if you spoke
to him day-to-day. He’s just a great human being.”

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vision is a major strength to him as a player. He’s lovely on the eye to watch,
his technical ability is high-level. I don’t think I have to go on about Phil
Coutinho the player, you just have to watch and admire the class with which he
goes about it.”

also said that the club was working to improve Coutinho’s fitness. “He can get
fitter and stronger and he will do with more training and games.”

Villa signed
Coutinho on loan from Barcelona for the remainder of the season with an option
to buy in the summer.