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Philippe Coutinho is the “future of Brazil” and worth the £146m Barcelona spent to buy him, according to Watford forward and fellow Brazilian Richarlison.

Coutinho signed for Barcelona on Monday for the second largest fee in football history, although his debut will be delayed by three weeks due to a thigh injury.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Richarlison, who shares the same agent as Coutinho, has backed him to be a success in Spain.

“I didn’t know about the offer before it went public,” Richarlison said. “I consider the offer to reflect the value of the player.

“I think he’s a great character and a great player. He is the future of Brazil.

“He is also known as ‘the little magician’. He is incredible and I wish him all the best at Barcelona.”

Richarlison has impressed at Watford since moving from Brazilian side Fluminense in the summer, scoring five goals in 24 appearances.

He credits his family with helping him to settle in England, as well as some famous friends.

Richarlison said: “I’ve brought friends over from Brazil. Here I’ve befriended people like Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus.

“We all socialise and go out together and they have been very helpful.”

Richarlison also surprisingly revealed that, despite playing as a forward for Watford under Marco Silva, his idol growing up in Brazil was Arsenal’s former defensive midfielder Gilberto Silva.

He said: “Growing up watching the Premier League, the person with the most presence was Gilberto Silva.

“He was everywhere in Brazil. His matches were always televised. He was the main figure I was following in the Premier League.”

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