Compared to Coutinho by Rodgers, Liverpool flop Luis Alberto has hit the big time

Luiz Luis Alberto of SS Lazio compete for the ball with Namplalys Mendy of OGC Nice during the UEFA Europa League group K match between Lazio Roma and OGC Nice at Stadio Olimpico on...

Former Liverpool manager had high hopes for Luis Alberto. He is finally fulfilling them.

Luis Alberto looks to pass the ball during the match between the Melbourne Victory and Liverpool at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 24, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.

Signing and selling players is always a gamble. Some you win, and some decisions come back and haunt the manager.

Brendan Rodgers struck gold when he signed Coutinho from Inter Milan, and hoped he had done the same when he signed Luis Alberto for the Reds from Sevilla.

The move was not a successful one, and Rodgers' proclamation that he had signed a future star went onto look silly... until now.

Rodgers compared Alberto to Coutinho, quoted by The Metro in 2013: "He’s another Coutinho-type. We brought in young Philippe Coutinho in January when he was 20 years of age, but he had good experience and, more importantly, fitted the profile of what we’re trying to do here and what we’re trying to build. Young Luis is exactly the same – a talented, very highly-rated young player."

Liverpool's Luis Alberto leaps over Martin Skrtel as he slide tackles during training in Melbourne on July 23, 2013. Liverpool play Melbourne Victory in a friendly football game at the MCG...

Luis Alberto flopped at Liverpool, turning out to be the anti-Coutinho, making only nine Premier League appearances.

Now away from Anfield, he has hit the big time.

Luiz Luis Alberto of SS Lazio compete for the ball with Namplalys Mendy of OGC Nice during the UEFA Europa League group K match between Lazio Roma and OGC Nice at Stadio Olimpico on...

A permanent move to Italian club Lazio has brought the best out of him, and Luis Alberto has just been called up by Spain for the very first time.

The 25-year-old has three goals and seven assists this season already and his cap is well deserved.

Speaking to Marca, Luis Alberto discussed how it is a proud moment for him that he did not see coming.

He said: "I saw that everything was slipping away. I then challenged myself to make a change and now I'm in the national team."

He has a chance to earn his first caps in upcoming friendlies against Costa Rica and 2018 World Cup hosts Russia.

Brendan Rodgers deserves credit for spotting Luis Alberto's talent and taking a gamble four years ago, if not the execution in terms of developing him once he had him under his wing.

But you win some and you lose some, and Coutinho's success shows Liverpool shouldn't be too greedy, and fans should be happy for Luis Alberto that he has a chance to finally fulfil his potential even if it is not at Anfield.

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