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Liverpool morning news: Rodgers on 'wonderful' playmaker, 2 players linked

News from the Liverpool manager, transfers, injury update and words from a player on-loan…

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said he wished he could have used playmaker Philippe Coutinho from the start of Liverpool’s 2-0 loss to Arsenal at the weekend, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The Brazilian came on as a substitute at half-time during Liverpool’s loss to the Gunners when he replaced Aly Cissokho.

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Rodgers said: ‘He’s a wonderful player and we would’ve loved to have started him but he’s only come back into the fold, and got the medical clearance, in the last couple of days. But his introduction gave us the opportunity to control the game more with the ball.’

The Reds boss has also said that his side needs to show courage if they are to keep in touch with the sides at the top of the table.

He said: ‘I think my history as a coach shows I like players who are gifted technically and have courage when it comes to being in possession of a football. That is a key quality for me; can you be brave on the pitch, not in terms of 50-50 tackles but having the ball and looking to play in areas others wouldn’t?’

Steven Gerrard also complained of a hip problem after Saturday's game but should be fine to face Fulham at Anfield on Saturday. 

In transfer rumours, Liverpool look set to join Arsenal in the race to land Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye according to reports in the Northern Echo, and the Daily Express. Roma and Paris Saint Germain are also admirers of Cabaye.

Another player being linked to Liverpool is Argentine winger Juan Manuel Iturbe – who is currently on loan at Verona from Porto with Inter Milan also interested, but TalkSport are reporting that there are doubts over whether Inter can pay the £11.75m required.

Midfielder Suso, who is currently on loan with Spanish side Almeria, said he wanted to stay attached to Liverpool when considering his loan options. The 19-year-old said he had offers from elsewhere, but decided to help the La Liga strugglers in their battle against relegation.

In an interview with a Spanish magazine, Suso said: ‘I had bigger offers than the Almeria one, in particular one from Germany, but I wanted to stay attached to Liverpool, an important team for me. When I learned of Almeria’s interest, I didn’t think twice. My goal is to play as much as possible, experience La Liga, and help my team to stay up.’

image: © Bernard C

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