Rodgers: Coutinho is our new Suarez

The Brazilian curled in an injury-time winner to send his team into the FA Cup fifth round, with his manager hailing him as an inspiration for younger players

Brendan Rodgers has compared Philippe Coutinho to Luis Suarez after the Brazilian’s late stunner saw Liverpool reach the FA Cup fifth round.

Late goals from Raheem Sterling and Coutinho cancelled out Eidur Gudjohnsen’s earlier opener for Bolton, who had Neil Danns sent off when they led 1-0.

And Rodgers lavished praise on Coutinho after the game, predicting the former Inter man to match Suarez’s “world-class” talent in the years to come.

“You just pay money to watch that kid,” he told reporters.

“Watch how he plays football. He can be a great role model for young British players who, for many years, may have been discarded because they didn’t have the stature. He’ll become world-class in the next few years.

“With Luis Suarez, he was at a level when he played in this team, and he grew with the model before getting into that world-class bracket.

“I can see Coutinho following in a similar sort of line. He may not be as prolific but he’s on his way to that level. He’s a wonderful player.”

It was a nervy end for Liverpool, who were staring at an embarrassing exit, until an exquisite pass from Can after 86 minutes set up Sterling for the equaliser – and Rodgers singled out the summer signing.

He added: “He’s a kid that’s going to go on and be a big player for this team and Germany. He can defend, pass, he’s quick, he’s powerful. A lot of these young players are standing up to be counted now.”

Liverpool now travel to Crystal Palace on February 14 for a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals, with Rodgers noting the 3-1 Premier League loss at Selhurst Park in November.

“[Going back] is a great thing,” he said. “We didn’t play anywhere near our level and that the lowest point of the season in terms of performance.

“We go back there very soon with a different frame of mind and level of performance. Alan has lifted the club since he’s gone there but we go with big confidence.”

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