Brendan Rodgers forced to defend Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho
Brendan Rodgers believes Philippe Coutinho is set to have a fruitful season with Liverpool this term
Brendan Rodgers has leapt to the defence of Philippe Coutinho, describing the Liverpool playmaker as a “big, big talent”.
The 22-year-old failed to help his side find a breakthrough during the surprise 1-0 loss to Aston Villa at Anfield last Saturday and played 68 minutes of the Champions League win over Ludogorets Razgrad in midweek.
He always gives his best and that’s all I ever ask of the players
Coutinho has yet to notch up any assists or score any goals this season, but the Northern Irishman is convinced that the Brazil international will be a key player for the Merseyside outfit in the weeks and months ahead.
“He’s a brilliant young player, a fantastic young player,” Rodgers said of Coutinho.
“I had planned to have him out of the game against Aston Villa because he’d had a lot of travelling in the international week – and if we didn’t have so many injuries, he would have been given a rest on the side and then playing in the Champions League game.
“We couldn’t afford to do that. We had to play him, but it was great for him and his experience getting back into the Brazilian squad.
“I’ve got no qualms about him; he’s a big, big talent. He has lit up the Premier League since he came to the club.
“He’s going to have some games where he won’t be at his best, but he always gives his best and that’s all I ever ask of the players.
“The kid is a great boy who wants to do well. He’s very conscious that I have absolutely no doubts about him.”