Former Saints target backed to be Anfield success

Daily Echo: Philippe Coutinho Philippe Coutinho

New Liverpool signing Philippe Coutinho has the right mentality to succeed at Anfield according to assistant manager Colin Pascoe.

Less than a week ago boss Brendan Rodgers publicly criticised his younger players after their 3-1 FA Cup exit to League One Oldham.

Three days later he signed the 20-year-old Brazilian, who is now on his fourth professional club in three years, for £8.5million.

Critics of the Liverpool 'project' under Rodgers and American owners Fenway Sports Group have argued there is too much emphasis placed on potential when what they need is experience.

The oldest player Rodgers has signed since taking over in June is Oussama Assaidi - and he was only two days past his 24th birthday - and the addition of another youngster raised some eyebrows after Rodgers' recent comments.

But Pascoe said Coutinho, who played under Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino during a loan spell at Espanyol last season, was a different prospect.

"He has played a lot of games from a young age," said the Welshman, standing in for Rodgers who was in London attending his son Anton's court case.

"What we have got there is a young talent who has played a lot for Inter Milan and Espanyol.

"He is a young lad but what we have seen of him he can handle this type of pressure and he will be a good asset for us.

"The young lads who have come through have been absolutely brilliant but he has a lot of experience.

"He plays wide left, he can play as a number 10, and he likes to take defenders on and has a great awareness of his team-mates.

"He has to sort a few things out in Milan but he'll be back next week and he'll be ready to start straight away and he will be a great addition to the squad."

Rodgers tried to do his homework on Coutinho by asking the opinion of Reds midfielder Lucas Leiva, his compatriot.

"The manager spoke with me but not to ask about his talents as I think he was sure about that already," the Brazil international told the Liverpool Echo.

"He just wanted to know what I knew about Coutinho as a person. I only had positive things to say."

Despite failing to sign Blackpool winger Tom Ince after a month-long pursuit Pascoe insisted they were satisfied with the business done.

"The targets we wanted we got. With Coutinho and Daniel (Sturridge) coming in it enhances the squad," he added.

"We are very happy with the window."

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