The Liverpool defender thinks his 21-year-old teammate will develop into a top defender at Anfield, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Skrtel joins former Red John Scales in his admiration of Coates, but his perspective may be the clearest of all.
The 26-year-old Slovakian defender practices with Coates every day. He believes the youngster's talent and potential justifies the £7 million ($10.9 million) Liverpool paid Uruguayan club Nacional for his services.
Coates has made only three appearances since his August move. An error in his most recent outing (at Stoke City in the Carling Cup) gifted the Potters a goal. But he recovered nicely and turned in one of the best performances during his team's inspired second half comeback.
"He's doing well," Skrtel said. "I know he made a mistake against Stoke, but that's part of being a footballer. Every player who has ever played has made a mistake at some time. He was unlucky because the other team scored from it."
Skrtel believes being at a big club like Liverpool will help Coates turn into a top player because the right conditions exist at Anfield to ensure his progress. The expectations of top-level coaches and teammates, combined with the club's infrastructure make the perfect setting for Coates at this point in his career.
"I think it's good for him to be at a club like this at such a young age." Skrtel said. "For a youngster to be training with people like Stevie, Suarez, Carra and more can only help him. I think he will become better and better."
Skrtel believes that his own development is not yet complete. He advises Coates to be patient because defenders improve with age and game experience against top level competition.
"I'm 27 in December so I hope so," Skrtel said about most defenders eaching their peak around 30. "As I said about Sebastian, I think you become a better player as you gain more experience. Hopefully that will be the case for me too."
Photo via LiverpoolFC.tv
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