Brendan Rodgers backs Philippe Coutinho to find form

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is in no doubt that playmaker Philippe Coutinho will find form again quickly, calling the Brazilian "a big talent" in a reaction to criticism over a relatively quiet start to the season.

After a superb campaign last season many thought that the 22-year-old would continue his fine form into the new campaign and become an even bigger threat for the Reds.

However, it has been quite the opposite and instead Coutinho has suffered a terrible turn in form and looked fairly ordinary during the early stages of the campaign, struggling especially in matches against Aston Villa in the Premier League and Ludogorets Razgrad in the Champions League.

Nonetheless, his manager is still adamant that the midfielder possesses the same talent he boasted last season and will find his form sooner than later.

Rodgers backs the brilliant Brazilian to come good

He's been here 18 months and he's been absolutely brilliant," Rodgers told the Daily Mirror.

"I don't think there's a question he can cope. You only have to measure how he's done since he's been here, and he's done it in the big games. He's been absolutely brilliant.

"I have no qualms about him. He's a big talent and he's lit up the Premier League since he came to the club.

"Like any player, he'll have some games where he'll only be a six out of 10, rather than a nine or a 10 out of 10 - but he will always give his best.

"There's no doubt over whether he has the power, the pace or the strength, because he's shown in games that he has all those qualities. He's very conscious that I have absolutely no doubts about him."

Class act

One has to think that this is just a short-term dip in form for the Brazilian.

Last season, he was by far one of Liverpool's best players and linked extremely well with Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling throughout.

He has the feet of a magician at times and Coutinho can easily fool defenders with his quick feet as well as the cutting through balls that split the oppositions defence open.

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Stumbling block in promising Liverpool start

The former Inter Milan man netted five times in 33 Premier League appearance last campaign, that included the winner in the 3-2 home victory against Manchester City.

Coutinho has shown glimpses that he does very much retain all of his ability this season - against Aston Villa, he went on a fantastic solo run and shot from the outside of the box. His effort left Brad Guzan stranded to be only denied by the woodwork.

Tough competition

Unfortunately, Coutinho could find himself on the Liverpool bench more than he likes this season if he does not find form soon.

With summer signings Lazark Markovic and Adam Lallana who can play similar roles to the Brazilian, pressing constantly for a place in the starting XI, another poor game could see Coutinho be dropped to the bench like he was against Tottenham Hotspur.

Brendan Rodgers is blessed with a vast squad and versatile players who are all fighting for their place on the team-sheet. The newcomers who deserve to play will be picked by the Northern Irishman and it could turn out that it may be Coutinho who sacrifices his place.

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