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Gerrard backs Coutinho to ‘go up another level’ after completing permanent Villa transfer

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Steven Gerrard has backed Philippe Coutinho to ‘go up another level’ after completing a permanent move to Aston Villa.

Villa have announced the permanent capture of the Brazil international from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee, believed to be €20 million (£17m), following an impressive loan spell since returning to the Premier League in January.

The 29-year-old has scored four goals and provided three assists in 14 league starts for Villa and Gerrard expressed his delight at securing a deal for his former Liverpool teammate.

Speaking ahead of Villa’s clash with Crystal Palace this weekend, Gerrard has backed a more settled Coutinho to reach new levels after making his move to the Midlands permanent.

“We’re very pleased with that news. It’s fantastic for everyone connected to the club. To have him here and settled, I think he’ll go up another level,” he told his pre-match press conference.

“He is a player that needs to feel wanted and feel support, and everyone at Villa has played their part. “It’s fantastic that he wants to be part of this journey.

“Phil is very humble, he is extremely professional and he sets standards on a daily basis.”

Read – Premier League preview: Eight talking points ahead of the weekend’s action

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