English Premiership

Coutinho can fill Suarez void

2015-02-05 08:49
Philippe Coutinho (Getty Images)

Bolton - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Philippe Coutinho can scale the same heights as Luis Suarez after the Brazilian's stunning injury-time winner against Bolton Wanderers secured their place in the FA Cup fifth round with a hard-fought 2-1 victory.

The Reds had looked to be heading out of the competition with four minutes of their fourth-round replay at the Macron Stadium left after Eidur Gudjohnsen had put second-tier side Bolton ahead from the penalty spot.

But Raheem Sterling equalised before Coutinho, who signed a new contract which will keep him at Anfield until 2020, produced a sublime finish from 25-yards which gave Bolton goalkeeper Andrew Lonergan no chance.

Uruguay striker Suarez inspired Liverpool's Premier League title challenge last season, with 31 goals in 33 matches, to wide acclaim before he left for Barcelona in July last year, and the Liverpool boss claims 22-year-old Coutinho could follow in Suarez's footsteps.

"You would just pay money to watch that kid," Rodgers said.

"He is a great role model for lots of technical players in this country, young British players that for maybe many years would have been discarded because they were technically good but not as big a stature.

"Philippe will become world class in the next couple of years. Luis Suarez was at a level then he played in this team and grew and grew with the model and went into the world-class bracket and I can see him falling in the same sort of way.

"He might not be as prolific as Suarez was but he is certainly on the way to that Liverpool. He is a wonderful, wonderful player. Signing a new deal shows he is really committed to Liverpool and his development."

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