Lovren says Liverpool teammate Coutinho is currently the best player in the Premier League

Lovren says Liverpool teammate Coutinho is currently the best player in the Premier League

Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren believes the form of Philippe Coutinho marks him as the best player in the Premier League at the moment after he inspired the Reds to victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday evening.

Charlie Malam

Dejan Lovren insists that, on current form, Liverpool teammate Philippe Coutinho is the best player in the Premier League.

The Brazilian, who is known as 'the Magician' by those in Jürgen Klopp's squad, maintained his rich vein of recent form with an sublime performance in the Reds' enthralling 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday evening.

Playing a major hand in the build-up for the opening goal, as well as laying on excellent crosses for Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip's first-half headers at Selhurst Park, the 24-year-old showcased the quality that has made him the club's Player of the Year for the last two successive seasons.

Despite being situated on the left of a three-pronged attack, Coutinho picked up pockets of space across the pitch - including some from deeper positions after operating in a central midfield role in recent weeks.

That allowed him to sweep several well-weighted through balls in behind for Mane to run on to - and though none led to goals - Coutinho's movement, trickery and vision left Palace helpless.

Defender hails Coutinho's "perfect" Palace assists 

Lovren, who had a mixed display in the capital as he gifted James McArthur Palace's first equaliser before scoring a header at the opposite end almost immediately after, insisted: "In my opinion, he [Coutinho] is the best player in the league at the moment."

The Croatia international called it a "pleasure" and an "honour" to play alongside the Reds' No.10, as he said that he "is playing well for Brazil as well."

The centre-back saluted Coutinho as being not "just outstanding against Palace" but as having performed "like that all year", calling his crosses for Liverpool's second and third goals "perfect."

Those two assists meant that the attacking midfielder has five goals and five assists in 10 appearances in all competitions this term - near half the tally of 12 goals and seven assists he managed across the entire of last season.

But Lovren was also keen to stress that while the in-form Coutinho is a "main part of the team", Liverpool's approach is "not an individual thing" and rather it is the "team work" that "wins us points."

"It was the team that beat Palace, not just one player," he declared, though Lovren then noted that "of course" when the team "works really good" then the "individual qualities" of players shine through, insisting "that man against Palace was Philippe Coutinho."