Liverpool chief hails arrival of defender Sebastián Coates

Director of football Damien Comolli reveals that he had been tracking the centre-half for years

kenny dalglish
Dalglish's side are currently third in the Premier League table PA Photos

kenny dalglish

Liverpool’s new centre-half Sebastián Coates is the “complete package”, according to the club’s director of football Damien Comolli.

Comolli believes the 20-year-old Uruguay defender, who signed for the Reds from Nacional on Tuesday for an undisclosed fee, has all the attributes needed to succeed in England.

“His qualities are perfect for the Premier League because here you can face more direct teams where you have to head the ball several times during the game and make sure your presence is being felt on set pieces and throw-ins,” Comolli told Liverpool’s website.

He added: “He also has the ability to play against big players, he’s not afraid to be isolated one on one and defend properly. We think he is the complete package.

“He is only 20 so there is a lot of time for improvement. Playing alongside Martin [Skrtel], Jamie [Carragher] or Daniel [Agger] will help him improve fantastically, I’m sure.

“Training on a daily basis against [Luis] Suárez or Andy [Carroll] will be a new challenge for him but we know already he will bring a big contribution to the team and to the squad.”

Liverpool have been linked with moves for Bolton Wanderers’ Gary Cahill and Birmingham City’s Scott Dann over the summer but Comolli revealed he has been tracking Coates for a number of seasons.

“Myself and my scouting staff have been tracking him for over two years now, since the Copa America U20 tournament in Venezuela,” Comolli said.

“Then he went to the U20 World Cup in Egypt in 2009 and we kept an eye on him during the season, playing for his club Nacional where he was the captain, and then our scout went to the Copa America this summer just for confirmation of what we were thinking about him.”

Coates won the Copa América in July alongside his new club team-mate Suárez and was named the tournament’s Best Young Player.

“If you see the games during the Copa América he was one of the youngest defenders, if not the youngest to play most of the games,” added Comolli.

“Nothing touched him, he handled it perfectly and for us it was proof he was ready to come here because it was the biggest stage you can find in South America.

“For such a young player to do as well as he did in keeping more experienced players on the bench during the tournament was a strong sign of both his personality and of the level he can get to.”

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