Kaka backs Coutinho to fill Gerrard void
Former Brazil playmaker Kaka has urged Liverpool to build a team around Philippe Coutinho following the departure of long-serving captain Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard left Anfield at the end of last season to join LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, where Kaka also plies his trade for Orlando City.
And, after Coutinho scored the winner in Liverpool's Premier League opener at Stoke City on Sunday, Kaka predicts a bright future at both club and international level for the 23-year-old.
"I have been a big admirer of Coutinho and he can be a very important player for Liverpool and Brazil," he is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
"There will be a lot of expectation on him with Liverpool fighting to get back into the Champions League, but I know that he can handle it.
"One great player doesn't make a team, but you can build a team around one great player, and I believe he can be that player.
"Coutinho is a humble guy. He won't talk about being able to replace a legend like Steven Gerrard, and the truth is nobody could ever replace him, but with Gerrard gone they do need somebody to step up — and he can do that."