Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is confident that Steven Gerrard and new signing Raul Meireles can combine in midfield to regain UEFA Champions League football next season. The 27-year-old has so far made three appearances, including 79 minutes in their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, where he provided Fernando Torres with the pass that led to the free-kick for their second goal.
Meireles, who was courted by both United and Chelsea during the summer, played in an advanced role behind Torres at Old Trafford, but Hodgson admitted he was unsure where to utilise the Portuguese international best as of yet.
"They (he and Gerrard ) are certainly interchangeable," said the 62-year-old.
"We signed Meireles and the day after he went for 10 days away with Portugal and then came back for two days and made a substitute appearance against Birmingham.
"He had two training sessions and played on Thursday night and he played again on Sunday so it is very early for me to make very strong judgements about where his best position is.
"The work we do on the training field will show me how best to use him.
"He actually went out wide right late in the United game and did okay there also.
"All I can say is he has a lot of qualities and I'm sure we'll get a lot of use out of him.
"Most importantly he is a good and talented footballer and he is capable of playing anywhere across the midfield so we will see how we box it up together."