Rodgers predicts Coutinho success at Aston Villa after ‘surprising’ Barcelona failure

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is surprised Philippe Coutinho did not succeed at Barcelona.

The Brazilian played under Rodgers at Liverpool before moving to the Camp Nou in 2018.

Coutinho has now returned to the Premier League to play under former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa.

“An amazing player and a great guy,” Rodgers said when asked about Coutinho’s Premier League return.

“When we brought him (to Liverpool), I’d seen him as a young player and we hoped to get him to Chelsea, but he’d already agreed to go to Inter Milan.

“We were then able to bring him in at 19. I think at the time people thought that there was a question mark about his physicality. But he proved in his time at Liverpool and his development what a fantastic player he was. A very humble guy.

“I have to say I was very surprised it didn’t work out for him at Barcelona because if there was a player and club aligned it was maybe those two. But maybe if the environment is not quite right, for whatever reason, and Philippe is a player that is all about the environment.

“If he feels that love and that responsibility then he will thrive. I’m sure he will do really well for Steven, and like I said he needs to get back playing again regularly. He has shown in the Premier League he is a top player and he will look to return to that level.”

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