LUCAS LEIVA believes compatriot Philippe Coutinho has all the qualities required to be a big success at Liverpool.
The Brazil midfielder is excited by the arrival of the £8.5million attacking midfielder from Inter Milan.
Lucas has played alongside Coutinho at international level and is relishing the prospect of watching the 20-year-old light up the Premier League over the coming years.
“Coutinho is a very talented player,” Lucas said.
“He is very young but he has a lot of experience already.
“I had the chance to watch him when he got his first cap for Brazil a couple of years ago as we were both in the team.
“He is a proper Brazilian with a lot of skill and he likes to play with the ball and score goals. He had a very good spell at Espanyol when he was on loan last season and I think he will be a great player for the future for us.”
Coutinho began his career at Vasco da Gama in his homeland before moving to Inter in 2010.
The pace and physicality of English football will be a culture shock but Lucas is confident the 5ft 8ins playmaker will quickly adapt.
“I think he will be able to cope,” Lucas added.
“Of course in Italy it’s a different type of game but he has experience of playing in both Serie A and La Liga.
“We hope he settles very quickly. Hopefully he will feel comfortable and play really well for us.”
Lucas gave boss Brendan Rodgers a glowing assessment of the youngster before Liverpool began negotiating the transfer.
He also spoke to Coutinho on a number of occasions before the deal went through but insists the new boy needed no convincing about signing for Liverpool.
Now the midfielder intends to play his part, along with fellow South Americans Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates, to help Coutinho settle into life on Merseyside.
“The manager spoke with me but not to ask about his talents as I think he was sure about that already,” Lucas said.
“He just wanted to know what I knew about Coutinho as a person. I only had positive things to say.
“Then I spoke with Coutinho a few times. Not to try to convince him to come here but just to tell him about the club and how things work here.
“He felt it was a great opportunity for him to come to the Premier League and we’re happy to have him here.
“I know he doesn’t speak much English so I will try to help as much as I can to make him feel at home.
“We have Luis, Coates and myself here. We will all try to make him feel really comfortable. We’ll make sure he settles very quickly like Luis and Coates and is able to show his qualities.”