Rodgers excited by Coutinho option

Liverpool midfielder Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes that the arrival of Philippe Coutinho will benefit his squad.

The Brazilian joined the Premier League side last month from Inter Milan for a fee of £8.5m, but was unavailable for the club’s recent clash with Manchester City.

At just 20-years-of-age, the attacking midfielder is not expected to become a first-team regular straight away, unlike fellow January arrival Daniel Sturridge, but Rodgers believes that his addition will bring healthy competition for a spot in the starting XI:

“He’s a young player I’ve got very high hopes for but Daniel (Sturridge) was ready to come in and play – we’ll see how young Philippe goes,” He is quoted by Sky Sports.

“He was with the medical team with Milan and he has come here and we have assessed where he is in terms of his fitness.

“He’s a top young player with big experiences and bringing him into the group adds that competition.”

The Reds have been impressive of late in the Premier League, notching back-to-back away draws with Arsenal and City following a 5-0 victory over Norwich.

Rodgers admitted that the players who have featured recently has performed well, but stressed that it is very important to have strength in depth, something he feels Coutinho’s signing will add:

“There’s no doubt that the team who have been involved in the last couple of games have been exceptional but it’s very important that we’ve got players in the side who are fighting to get into the team.

“The key for us has always been to build a competitive squad that would enable us to challenge. That will keep us going and allowing us to develop.”

Coutinho struggled to force his way into Inter’s first-team, but enjoyed a successful loan spell with Espanyol last season.

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