Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for new signing Philippe Coutinho after securing the player's services from Inter Milan.
The Reds landed the one-cap Brazilian international less than 48 hours before the close of the January transfer window, and then played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on an eventful Wednesday evening.
Questions on the former Vasco da Gama starlet understandably followed post-match, and the Northern Irishman told reporters that he’s been following the 20-year-old's progress for several years.
“I love players that can make the difference at the top end of the field. He’s a young player with 100-odd appearances, a lot of them at the top level," Rodgers said during his press conference.
“I’ve known him since he was 15 years of age, watched him coming through from Brazil and in Italy. A wonderful talent, great technician, got pace, got strength, got power. Again, I think he’s flexible. He can play in the midfield in that zone, or he can play off the sides.
“A really exciting player. Another great product to come into the league, and I’m really looking forward his development and seeing him more.”
Rodgers was well aware of the competition the club faced for Coutinho’s signature, with Southampton interested in the player and Inter Milan not necessarily wanting to sell.
However, the Reds chief believes the lure of Liverpool proved to be the decisive factor, and that whilst the club aren’t ‘where they want to be’, they still have pulling power in the transfer market.
“There was obviously a big interest from there (Southampton), but I think a club like Liverpool will always attract top players," he added.
“Even though we are not where we want to be, the history of this football club will always get top players to want to come. And, once he found out Liverpool were interested, it was a real coup for us, because Inter Milan didn’t want to sell him.
“We did everything we could to get him. And thankfully he’s chosen to come to Liverpool.”
Coutinho is the second player to join the Reds in the transfer window, with Daniel Sturridge moving to Merseyside from Chelsea earlier in the month.