Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes that Philippe Coutinho has the potential to be just as good as Luka Modric.
The Brazilian playmaker penned a new contract with the Reds yesterday, committing his long-term future to the Merseysiders.
Although criticised for his wayward shooting – which Rodgers has acknowledged – Coutinho, 22, has been a big hit since his 2013 arrival Anfield, winning plaudits for his silky skills, neat playing style and ability to play the killer through ball.
And his manager feels that all these characteristics add up to give him the potential to be as good as former Spurs hero Modric, or his Real team-mate, and World Cup winner, Toni Kroos:
“If you look at that type of player he is, you look at Modric,” he is quoted by the Daily Mail.
“He doesn’t have a big goalscoring record, but he is a world-class player, a continuity player. He can make passes and put the ball in behind and he gets the odd goal from outside the box.
“He is a top-class player who can create the game who is so important in opening up doors for the team.
“Toni Kroos is another of that type; a wonderful footballer and great passer. They maybe don’t get as many goals for what their technique is, but their role is to sit behind the ball and create goals for others. Their role is not to score 20 a season. Phil’s numbers will improve, but it is not the be all and end all if he doesn’t get 20 a season.”
Coutinho, who cost Liverpool just £8.5m two years ago, teed up both Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge for their goals in the weekend’s 2-0 win over top four rivals West Ham.