Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho about to hit his peak

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has talked up the potential of creative Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

Liverpool lost 3-1 to regional rivals Manchester United in the final of a pre-season State-side tournament, the International Champions Cup, last night, Monday.

There were positives for the Reds to take from the game, however.

And one of those who returned an exemplary performance was visionary midfielder Philippe Coutinho, a 22-year-old from Rio de Janeiro who was cruelly overlooked in Luiz Felipe Scolari's squad for the World Cup in Brazil yet a player who could have made a difference in a roster that became increasingly bland as the competition progressed.

Last season, Coutinho returned 65 goal-scoring opportunities, assisted seven times and scored five goals in Premier League competition. But with his best years still ahead of him, it would be logical to presume that under a nurturing mentor like Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, the player can progress even further in the seasons ahead.

Indeed, the player's potential excites Rodgers, who told the club's official website that: "By the time the next World Cup comes around he will be an important part of the Brazil team. I'm sure his best years will be at Liverpool.

"He's certainly a valuable player and a great asset to the club. He's come in here and shown his quality, and really developed as a young player.

"Now he's moving into the best years of his life as a footballer."

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