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16th Aug, 2016 | 10:46pm

Emile Heskey tells Liverpool star he can match Ronaldo and Messi

By Alex Taylor

Emile Heskey has told Philippe Coutinho that he has what it takes to reach the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo following the Brazilian’s brace in Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Arsenal on Sunday.

The playmaker guided Jurgen Klopp’s side to a stunning victory in the opening weekend of Premier League fixtures with an inch perfect free-kick goal, followed by a classy flicked finish for his second.

Coutinho recently reached the top of Sky Sports’ power rankings in the Premier League and has become one of England’s most feared forward-thinking players.

“I think he’s got the ability to [match Messi and Ronaldo],” former Liverpool striker Heskey told Omnisport. “I think he’s got just as much ability as them and we’ve seen it in spurts. We need to see it more on a constant level now. His skills are phenomenal,”

Coutinho joined Anfield in 2013 from Inter Milan and has made 146 appearances for the club.

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He was named Liverpool’s Player of the Year last season and will look to improve upon the 12 goals and seven assists he provided last term.

The 24-year-old will now be hoping to carry on his good work as his side prepares to travel to Turf Moor in four days time to face Burley.

In other Liverpool team news, Jamie Carragher has given his verdict on the club’s new signing Mane.