Suarez & Barca Boss Defend Coutinho After Forgettable Full Debut
Luis Suarez & Barcelona Boss Defend Philippe Coutinho After Forgettable Full Debut
FC Barcelona star Luis Suarez and his manager Ernesto Valverde leapt to the defence of the club's record signing Philippe Coutinho following the Brazilian's forgettable full debut on Sunday night.
Click through the gallery above to see pictures from Barca's LaLiga win on Sunday!
The former Liverpool man was named in the starting line-up for the Blaugrana's match at the Camp Nou on Sunday, when they narrowly beat Alaves 2-1 thanks to strikes from Suarez and Lionel Messi.
Coutinho's performance was hardly one to remember as he was substituted off in the 66th minute, but his manager has suggested he is not expecting immediate fireworks from the 25-year-old.
"Players aren't machines that you can just put in a factory and start to work right away," Valverde told The National.
"I thought he played well, he was always asking for the ball. He has important skills, the other day he played 20 minutes, today he played a little more, and he's growing into the team little by little."
Suarez also did not agree with those criticising Coutinho's performance.
"It's always difficult to make your debut at the Camp Nou in the league," Suarez said.
"He played very well, trying to run the game and the team is happy with what he did."
Barca's win saw them go 11 points clear in LaLiga, and remain 19 points ahead of Real Madrid.
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