Philippe Coutinho can be world class like Luis Suarez, says Liverpool boss

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers likens Philippe Coutinho to Luis Suarez

Brendan Rodgers is confident Philippe Coutinho can emulate Luis Suarez and become a world-class player at Liverpool.

The 22-year-old playmaker scored an 81st-minute winner to seal a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth-round replay at Macron Stadium on Wednesday night.

He will become world class in the next couple of years

Brendan Rodgers

Coutinho signed a new long-term Liverpool deal on Tuesday afternoon which will keep the talented Brazil international at the Merseyside outfit until 2020.

Liverpool manager Rodgers is backing Coutinho to follow in the footsteps of his former team-mate Suarez and develop into one of the world’s most-influential players.

“You would just pay money to watch that kid,” Rodgers told his post-match news conference.

“He is a great role model for lots of technical players in this country, young British players that for maybe many years would have been discarded because they were technically good but not as big a stature.

“He will become world class in the next couple of years. Luis Suarez was at a level then he played in this team and grew and grew with the model and went into the world-class bracket and I can see Coutinho falling in the same sort of way.

“He might not be as prolific as Suarez was but he is certainly on the way to that. He is a wonderful, wonderful player. Signing a new deal shows he is really committed to Liverpool and his development.”

Coutinho has scored three goals in all competitions this season following his dramatic long-range strike against Neil Lennon’s side in the FA Cup.

The Brazilian was in fine form last Saturday as the diminutive midfielder teed up Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge for their goals in a 2-0 win against West Ham United at Anfield.

The Liverpool star has scored 10 goals and has made 16 assists in 66 Premier League games following his £8.5m switch to Anfield from Inter Milan in January 2013.

MORE: Read the latest Liverpool player tweets

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