The Anfield boss insists that the Reds' record signing can fit into the style of play that he is introducing to the club and is more versatile than given credit for.
The England forward has been heavily linked with a move away from Anfield this summer, with former club Newcastle thought to be interested, but the Ulsterman is confident that the 35 million pound man can succeed with the Reds.
"Andy is a terrific young player," Rodgers told reporters. "I had a brief chat with all the lads and over the next couple of weeks I'll be able to speak to them with more confidence and on a one-to-one basis. There is no doubt he is a terrific talent. There has been a lot of unfair criticism aimed towards Andy.
"He is a player who can play in a number of styles and it was a wee bit unfair on him [for people] to say he couldn't fit into the way I would want to play. For me, your game is based on your players, the players you have. I am here to win games. We've got a number of very, very talented players in the group, of which Andy is one."Liverpool continues its preseason preparations against Roma on Thursday morning, but is likely to be without Fabio Borini and those who represented England at Euro 2012, who only joined the squad in USA on Tuesday.
Rodgers conceded that the late-returners will be unable to feature in the team so soon after their rendezvous but hopes to get them involved as the tour goes on.
"As much as I'd like to put them into games straight away, you can't do that. Physically, it's not what you can do," he said. "The players who've been training for two-and-a-half weeks will play a big part in these next two games and we've got to manage the other players and get them tapped back into the physical side. We'll increase that as the days go forward. But it's great to get them back, get to work, and we can move forward from here.
"It's going to take a bit of time for the group to be the kind of structured group we want them to be."
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