BRENDAN RODGERS believes new Brazilian signing Philippe Coutinho has the match-changing qualities which can make him a fans’ favourite at Anfield.
But the Reds boss added that they may have to wait to welcome Thomas Ince back into the fold again.
Coutinho completed his £8.5m switch from Inter yesterday and Rodgers explained: “I like players who can make the difference at the top end of the field, and he’s a young player with over 100-odd appearances – a lot of them at the top level.
“I’ve known him since he was 15 years of age and watched him come through from Brazil. He’s a wonderful talent, a great technician, he’s got pace, strength, power and he’s flexible. He can play in the midfield, in the zone or he can play off the sides. He’s a really exciting player and another great product to come into the league and I’m really looking forward to developing him.
“The owners have been brilliant and really supportive of what we’re trying to do and with every window we’ll get better and better.”
Rodgers revealed that he had discussed Coutinho with former Inter boss Jose Mourinho, but the current Real Madrid manager wasn’t influential in him swooping for the 20-year-old Brazilian.
“I’ve obviously had conversations about him (with Mourinho). He had signed him, but then he left – I think he played there when Rafael Benitez was manager there – but he gave us a good insight into him when he was at Espanyol. He saw him a lot when he was there on-loan.
“He’s an exciting talent but he’s also a real good professional which is also key as well. A club like Liverpool will always attract top players.
“Once he found out Liverpool were interested he wanted to come, and it was a real coup for us because Inter Milan didn’t want to sell him.”
Coutinho is likely to be the last arrival before the transfer window closes tonight.
“I think it will be difficult. I don’t think there’ll be any more coming in,” added Rodgers.
“It looks like it will be a wee bit too complicated now at this stage.
“If Tom Ince stays at Blackpool it doesn’t mean he will never come to Liverpool.”