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Friday 31 October 2014

Lucas has no doubt Coutinho will make big splash at 'Pool

LUCAS LEIVA has no doubts fellow Brazilian Philippe Coutinho can prove a big hit at Liverpool.

The 20-year-old became manager Brendan Rodgers' second signing of the January transfer window after finalising the details of his medical and work permit in an £8.5million switch from Inter Milan.

Midfielder Lucas revealed he advised both Rodgers and the player ahead of a deal which the Brazilian believes can prove an all-round winner.

"The manager spoke with me, not asking me about his talent, because he was sure about his talent, it was just about how he was as a person," said Lucas.

"I spoke to him (Coutinho) a few times, not trying to convince him to sign, just telling him about the club, how things work here. He just felt it was a great opportunity for him to come to the Premier League and we are happy to have him here. Coutinho is a very talented player, with a lot of experience for someone so young. He is a proper Brazilian with a lot of skill, he likes to play with the ball.

"He had a very good spell with Espanyol and I think he will be a great player in the future for us."

Settles

Coutinho is on his fourth club -- all in different countries -- in three years, but Lucas is confident he will quickly adapt to life in the English top flight.

"In Italy, it is a different game, but he has experience in La Liga as well. But I think he will be able to cope, I just hope he settles very quickly," said Lucas. "We have Luis (Suarez) and (Sebastian) Coates, and myself, so we will all try to make him feel really comfortable and help. He is a young lad so we just need to make sure he settles very quickly, like Luis and Coates have, then he will be able to feel comfortable, show his qualities and start to play really well."

There was movement out of Anfield on deadline day when Liverpool confirmed goalkeeper Alexander Doni had left the club to join Brazilian side Botafogo.

Doni joined the Reds from Roma in 2011 but made just four first-team appearances.

The 33-year-old Brazilian did not feature in the current campaign, and slipped further out of the picture when Brad Jones was favoured as a replacement for the injured Jose Reina.

Liverpool, meanwhile, will aim to build momentum with a positive result at Manchester City on Sunday after a midweek draw at Arsenal.

Rodgers recalled his first-team regulars, having been criticised for his team selection in the FA Cup loss at Oldham.

For an hour, everything was going to plan as Jordan Henderson added to Luis Suarez's early goal to give the visitors a commanding 2-0 lead.

However, the Gunners suddenly kicked into life to make up for their defensive shortcomings as two quick goals saw them level through Olivier Giroud and a blistering strike by England forward Theo Walcott.

Brazilian Lucas feels even if they could not see the game through, the Reds can head into the City game all set to produce another determined display.

"We were responding very well from the FA Cup tie. We showed a lot of attitude and the right mentality at Arsenal, we just have to keep going to get the points against Manchester City," the midfielder said.

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