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Rodgers Impressed with Coates' Form as Summer of Seba Rolls On

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After falling out of favor and suffering a serious injury in 2013, Sebastian Coates has worked his way back into the first-team picture at Liverpool this preseason, with Brendan Rodgers taking note of the Uruguayan defender's impressive appearances this summer.

David Banks

It's long appeared that it just wasn't to be for Sebastian Coates at Anfield--he didn't get the regular run of matches under Kenny Dalglish despite regularly outperforming Jamie Carragher, chances didn't come in Brendan Rodgers' first season after fall turned to winter, and an injury late last summer on international duty ruled out his chances at competing for a spot or, more likely, heading elsewhere temporarily to get the playing time he needed. After recovering in the spring he finally went back home to continue rehabbing and finish the season with his former club, Nacional, just in time to make the final Uruguay squad for the World Cup.

His return to Liverpool this summer was supposed to be a formality before an exit, but with Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure arriving late and each of Daniel Agger and Tiago Ilori ruled out through injury, Coates has found himself with more playing time than expected, an opportunity he's largely managed to make the most of. The effort hasn't gone unnoticed, with Brendan Rodgers making mention of how impressed he's been with the 23-year-old:

"He is a player that played in the team when I first came into the club, he played in some of the league games and European games, then was out of the team. He was very unfortunate to have had a bad injury which put him out for a while, but he went away on loan last season, got himself fit again and he's come back and done really well at pre-season. He's done very, very well. He's a big boy but he can play football. Lovely touch, lovely technique but he can pass the ball, and he can be aggressive.

"He's been at the club for a few years and the question has to be asked whether he gets enough games that will satisfy his own personal need, because he's a talent. He's a real good guy as well, a humble man, never cries about not playing and accepts as a professional he won't play in every game. But he's worked hard to get fit after his injury last season, he now looks fit and he's done well in the games so we'll see what the rest of the summer holds."

The summer may very well hold a move away despite Rodgers' praise, as the Uruguayan finds himself firmly fifth-choice at present. That's not accounting for any potential exits from Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, or Kolo Toure, which could see him ascend in the pecking order, and would certainly afford a spot start or two in league or cup competition.

But for as much as he's impressed, it seems unlikely that more than one of the aforementioned names will leave, and if it's regular playing time he needs--even with the increased number of matches on tap for Liverpool in four competitions--it looks as though he's going to have to get that elsewhere.