Liverpool boss hails "wonderful" Philippe Coutinho

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Brendan Rodgers says he picked up a bargain in Philippe Coutinho, saying the player is crucial to Liverpool's future.

The young Brazilian joined from Inter Milan in January and has so far been in inspiring form for Liverpool.

Whilst others seem to take time to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, Coutinho positively thrived from the moment he switched, thriving in his preferred playmaker role.

After just 11 months in a Liverpool shirt, the 21-year-old is already considered a key part to Liverpool's future and provides a crucial link between midfield and attack in the Anfield line-up.

Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Arsenal may not have reaped many positives for Rodgers and Liverpool, but the manager insists the return of Coutinho, who has sat out six weeks with a shoulder injury, was one of them.

The Reds boss told the Liverpool Echo: "We brought Coutinho on and he made the field a little bit narrower whilst allowing us to maintain the two up front. And he was terrific when he came on.

"He's a wonderful player and we would've loved to have started him, but he's only come back into the fold and got the medical clearance in the last couple of days. But his introduction gave us the opportunity to control the game more with the ball.

Rodgers also declared his delight at stealing Coutinho for a bargain price.

Coutinho reportedly joined for £8.5m, representing excellent value for money thus far.

"He's a wonderful player and a big talent for around £8million," Rodgers continued. "He is remarkable - his feet, his talent and his ability on the ball."

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