Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expects young Brazilian Philippe Coutinho to have a leading role in the club's efforts to claw their way back up the Premier League table this season.

The diminutive play maker arrived at Anfield from Inter Milan for £8.5m during the January transfer window, immediately carving a reputation as one of the league's brightest talents with an exquisite first six months in English football.

With Liverpool looking to improve on their seventh placed finish last campaign, Rodgers has tipped the 21-year-old to have an even greater impact on the club's fortunes and become one of the most influential players at Anfield in the 2013/14 campaign.

"You look around the city now and there are so many kids and people who have 'Coutinho' on their shirt," Rodgers told Liverpool's official website.

"They obviously love watching him like I do. I'm fortunate enough where I get the chance to see him every day.

"He's a wonderful talent, a player that creates goals and scores goals. He's a joy to watch. He'll play a big part for us this season."

Coutinho, who has been capped once at international level for Brazil, arrived at the club along with Daniel Sturridge in January, both of whom helped ease the goal scoring and creative burden on Luis Suarez during the second half of the campaign.

In another boost to Brendan Rodgers' pre-season preparations, former Manchester City and Chelsea striker Sturridge returned to first team training after recovering from an ankle injury on Monday.

The 23-year-old limped out of England's international friendly with the Republic of Ireland at the end of May, initially prompting fears he had suffered ankle ligament damage which could have seen the striker's faced with three month spell on the side lines.

Thankfully for Rodgers, Sturridge will now be available for the club's two remaining pre-season games against Valerenga on Wednesday and Celtic on Saturday.