Coutinho, Zaha and Forren: Hit or miss?
Now that the dust has settled following the mayhem of the January transfer window, the Life’s a Pitch team has time to assess whether the players bought will be a success or a failure. Here, they look at Liverpool’s £8.5m capture of Inter Milan playmaker Philippe Coutinho (pictured), new Manchester United signing Wilfried Zaha – who will stay at Crystal Palace for the rest of the season – and defender Vegard Forren, who moved from Molde to Southampton.
“One of the most interesting deals of the window, I think,” says the Sunday Telegraph’s Jason Burt of Brazilian Coutinho, who was struggling for playing time at Inter. “When I’ve seen him play he’s looked a very, very good young player. There are issues around his fitness, and possibly even around the way he looks after himself, but I think he’s gone to the right club. He’ll get looked after properly at Liverpool. I think he could be a hit for them.”
Also just 20 years old, £15m Zaha is set for the very top if he irons out some flaws in his game, says the People’s Tom Hopkinson. “He’s definitely got the raw materials to be a superb player. I saw him against Bolton and my reservation about him was that he looked like he went to ground far too easily. For 60 minutes he didn’t really get into the game, then all of a sudden it was like the switch went on: he started beating players and showing what he can do when he stays on his feet. If Sir Alex Ferguson can coach that side of his game and keep working with him, he can be a massive hit.”
Talking of Man Utd, the Sunday Mirror’s David Walker wonders whether the fact Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t recommend Forren to his former manager suggests the new Southampton man wouldn’t cut it at a top team. “Maybe he’s not quite Manchester United standards, but I’m told he’s a good player by the lads who have seen him. He’s got that classic thing from up there [Norway] of being fairly tough, and he won’t be knocked around. I think he’ll be a hit.”
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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