One of the few players to have performed unequivocally well during Liverpool's tour of the United States that will still be unsure of his future at Anfield is young Spaniard Jesus Fernandez Saez, better know as Suso.
Having spent last season on loan at Almeria and played a key role in keeping them in the Spanish first division with seven assists and three goals, the midfielder will have come back to Anfield optimistic of his chances of gaining a first-team berth. Indeed, he has continued to perform well in the red jersey since his return.
He has scored two good goals on the tour of the USA and has looked dangerous and intelligent on the ball when given the opportunity. However, his preferred position may well count against him in the long run in this team.
Liverpool have bought heavily in his position during this transfer window, with Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana coming in to compete for the midfield positions that were held down tightly by Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho last season.
The fact is, Suso is probably not yet good enough or fast enough to outdo these players yet. So what is the way forward for Suso, assuming his tour performance is enough for Liverpool to keep him on the books?
When Suso was coming through the ranks at youth team level, he would occasionally be deployed in the deep-lying playmaker role that Xabi Alonso used to occupy so expertly, and he did not look out of position there, albeit at youth team level, and this may well be the long-term position he has to occupy if he is to remain at Liverpool.
His range of passing and vision are perfect for that type of controlling role and with some improvement to his defensive awareness and physicality it could well be a position that he comes to occupy.
Obviously that role is currently Steven Gerrard’s to lose, but if Suso were to go out on loan to a less physical league where he would be able to learn the role under less pressure and add a little to the physical side of his game with a condition from Liverpool that he plays in that position the majority of the time, then he may well be prove a potential successor to Gerrard as the regista of the midfield.
Suso is not realistically going to be a regular member of Rodgers’s first team-squad this season and may not even make it onto the bench given the wealth of attacking talent Liverpool have brought in.
The best option for Suso, then, is to send him out on loan, perhaps to an Italian or German club, out of his Spanish comfort zone, where the tactical side of his game could significantly develop and where he could learn to play a slightly deeper role to broaden his long-term horizons at Anfield.
We have already seen Coutinho make a move further back the pitch successfully, it is now time for Suso to try to do the same.
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