Brendan Rodgers expressed his delight on Wednesday at news that Luis Suarez has put pen to paper on a new long-term contract at Liverpool and hailed the Uruguayan as one of the finest goal scorers in world football.
The Reds boss finally got to see Suarez in action on the training pitch when the 25-year-old reported to Melwood on Monday morning and as the ink was drying on the forward’s new deal, a thrilled Rodgers spoke to Liverpoolfc.com about the importance of the contract.
“I’m delighted that he has signed,” he said. “I think he’s one of the top strikers in world football. Hopefully, he was able to see our vision going forward, in terms of what we’re trying to do.
“I think he felt safe and secure at the fact that we look like we are heading in the right direction and he’s very happy to come with me on that journey — which I’m delighted about.
“He’s committed himself long-term to the club and he’s really looking forward to playing in this way of working. As a manager and for the supporters, I’m delighted because I know how important he is to them.
“He’s a winner. He wants to win. This is a guy who, whether it’s raining or there’s sunshine or snow or hail, he’s out on the field.
“You very rarely see him in a treatment room. He loves his football and football is his life. It’s his passion and I can relate to people like that; people who want to succeed and people who are passionate about success.”
Suarez has thrilled Reds fans with his unpredictable flair and precise close-control since his arrival from Ajax in January 2011.
And Rodgers believes Suarez’s abilities and strengths will allow the striker to slot seamlessly into a side that will look to play a very distinctive style of attractive, possession-based football next season.
“He’s a player who works well across the line,” said Rodgers. “He’s clever in his movement and he always asks questions of defenders.
“He’s either on the shoulder [of the back four] or he’s in between the lines. When he’s around the edge of the box, there’s always that sense of excitement that something might happen.
“As a manager, I love that invention and imagination at the top end of the field and Luis certainly gives that. He will fit into the dynamics of the team.
“He’s got a great mentality. Alongside that are his footballing qualities; his movement, his cleverness, his brightness and his all-action game is fantastic. Not just his talent, but his ability to work hard, was very important to the team last season and hopefully that can continue.”
Rodgers spoke to Suarez on numerous occasions in the weeks following his appointment as Liverpool manager and the Northern Irishman revealed how he outlined his plans for the Reds future during this period.
“I think he was impressed by how Swansea City played last year and felt that he would love to play in that type of game,” said Rodgers.
“We kept in contact through the summer via text, via speaking and then I was delighted when we were able to agree a new contract. It’s been great to see him back here at the training ground.”
Photo via Liverpoolfc.com