Daniel Sturridge scored a 79th-minute winner for the Reds as they claimed an unconvincing win in their Premier League opener at Anfield but both debutant defenders performed admirably.
The pair were the only two of Liverpool's seven summer signings to start the game and Rodgers was impressed with both.
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"It's always difficult when you play against your old team. I thought he dealt with it really well. He's a real leader for us. I thought he was excellent.
"And I thought young Manquillo done well, considering he picked up a booking early on. At 19 years of age, I thought he was very, very good."
Rodgers also noted that left-back Alberto Moreno, recently acquired from Sevilla, is close to a debut, while revealing that Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana, also new arrivals, are nearing returns from injury.
"Thankfully we have got young Moreno coming in as well. He's a big talent," the Northern Irishman enthused.
"Markovic [is] now available, which is great and Adam Lallana won't be too far away in the next few weeks so, all in all, the squad is shaping up very well."