Kenny Dalglish believes summer signing Sebastian Coates has a big future at Liverpool, but admitted he may have to bide his time before he is given an opportunity to shine.
The Uruguayan international has appeared only three times in a Liverpool shirt since making the switch from Nacional in a deal worth £7 million over the summer, giving him little time to demonstrate the talents that saw him named the best young player in the Copa America during his country’s successful campaign in July.
Having been given a tough introduction to Premier League life – making his league debut in the 4-0 defeat against Tottenham in September – and only making two further appearances in the Carling Cup so far, Dalgish believes that while the 21-year-old may have to wait his turn behind the likes of Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger, he will be knocking on the door sooner rather than later.
“Coates got his first goal (in the 5-1 reserve win over Sunderland), which is great for him, and great for us," the Reds boss said. "We are delighted with the way Seb is progressing.
"It is difficult to get him in the team at the moment because Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger are playing so well and Carra is back from injury. But Seb has done really well and he is getting better all the time.”
“I think he has settled in really quickly and did really well at Stoke (in the Carling Cup win) so you are not going to get a sterner test and change in culture more than at Stoke with their style of play, which is unique to the Premier League.
'That was a great test for Seb because they played well that night and put us under a lot of pressure, but he came through that well and we are looking for him to have a long career here."