Rodgers: Coutinho can become Liverpool’s Modric or Kroos

The former Inter man has struggled for goals this season but his manager claims his all-round impact on matches has been highly impressive

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed Philippe Coutinho, comparing the midfielder to Real Madrid pair Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

The former Inter man signed a new contract with the Anfield outfit on Tuesday that saw him commit his future to the Reds until 2020.

And Rodgers does not feel that the 22-year-old needs to improve his goalscoring record to be a success given how Modric and Kroos have advanced their careers.

“If you look at that type of player he is, you look at Modric,” he told reporters.

“He doesn’t have a big goalscoring record, but he is a world-class player, a continuity player. He can make passes and put the ball in behind and he gets the odd goal from outside the box.

“He is a top-class player who can create the game who is so important in opening up doors for the team.

“Toni Kroos is another of that type; a wonderful footballer and great passer.

“They maybe don’t get as many goals for what their technique is, but their role is to sit behind the ball and create goals for others.

“Their role is not to score 20 a season. Phil’s numbers will improve, but it is not the be all and end all if he doesn’t get 20 a season.”

The Brazil international has found the net on just two occasions this season, though his all-round performances in recent weeks have caught the eye.

And Rodgers is under no doubt that the the greater responsibility the player is showing in attacking areas will lead to more goals.

“He has a wonderful strike on him, so it will be about arriving into areas where he can make movements without the ball.

“There are areas to improve in the accuracy on his shooting; he has a wonderful move to work the space but at times you see him dragging the shot.

“At the minute I don’t have too many complaints about him as he’s pressing the game really well, he is being aggressive in hunting the ball and his two assists at the weekend were sublime.

“Hopefully in years to come the goals will come more readily for him.”

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