Brendan Rodgers believes Philippe Coutinho has the right temperament to be one of Liverpool's most consistent performers this season.

Expectation levels surrounding the 21-year-old are already sky-high, owing to the captivating nature of his performances since signing for the club in January.

While the youngster quickly became a Kop favourite, he was substituted prior to the hour-mark in games against Tottenham and Chelsea at Anfield last season.

But Rodgers insists Coutinho was still finding his feet fitness-wise - and has backed the Reds' No.10 to shine at the highest level this year.

"He was still gaining his fitness and those were high-tempo games [against Tottenham and Chelsea]," said Rodgers.

"I have no doubts about him on the big stage. I've seen him play in Champions League games for Inter, he can play in the big games; he has the temperament and quality.

"He was only 18, 19 when he started at Inter. You don't see many young players playing in Italian football. He was at the stage where his quality demanded he played regularly, and it was about finding a stage for him to do that.

"When I was aware he was available having known of him when he was in Brazil, I thought it would be perfect for us. He's a wonderful player, a joy to watch.

"He's just turned 21 and he has a great career ahead of him."

Coutinho shone in Liverpool's 1-0 win over Stoke last week, carving out more shot assists than any other player in the Premier League on the opening day.

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As the Reds go in search of another win against Aston Villa today, the manager expanded on his plans to deploy the Brazilian schemer in a more central position throughout the forthcoming season.

"His ideal position is in the No.10 role," explained Rodgers.

"I've seen him play when Inter had two advanced players and one holding, and he was one of the advanced players. Whether it's a two or a one, he can play in that role, or from the side.

"But centrally, that's where I see him playing. That's why I'm looking to sign someone for the left wing."