• Premier League

Suarez has never been happier - Rodgers

ESPN staff
November 7, 2013
ESPN FC: Is Suarez the best Gerrard has played alongside?

Brendan Rodgers believes that Luis Suarez has never been happier at Liverpool and is not concerned that the striker will look to leave again next summer.

Captain Steven Gerrard said this week that he feared the Uruguay international, who had wanted a transfer to Real Madrid or Arsenal in the close season, would request a move if Liverpool fail to qualify for next season's Champions League.

But manager Rodgers believes the former Ajax forward is confident that they will finish in the top four and reiterated that Liverpool will decide if and when Suarez goes, not the player himself.

Liverpool rejected Arsenal's offer of £40,000,001 in the summer and Rodgers praised Suarez for his attitude since returning to the fold.

He said: "Looking at Luis and speaking to him, he is as happy as he has ever been. He recognises we have a real genuine chance this year of breaking in there [the top four] this year. Last year was about transition and the second season was about improvement and he has seen that.

"He had a difficult summer but he has come back and he is more mature and his performance level has been really high. He sees a genuine chance for us to make that. He is happy here.

"From a club perspective, we made a stance last summer, not only for Luis but for every player. If we think it is time to sell a player, we will. If not we won't."

Liverpool face Fulham at Anfield on Saturday and Rodgers, whose team lost 2-0 to Arsenal last week, sees a chance to put them ahead of schedule in their bid to finish in the top four.

He added: "If you look at where we are at, we are averaging two points a game. You like to think that will get you into the Champions League and if we can get another three points on Saturday, that would take us above that."

Rodgers also expressed his delight for Jordan Henderson, who earned an international recall, and feels the midfielder's versatility can help him earn a place in England's World Cup squad.

"It's a big credit to him that I have been able to play in a couple of positions," Rodgers said. "If you are going to a World Cup, you need players who can play in a number of positions. He can do that. He has shown this season in a wing-back role and a centre-midfield role how versatile he is.

"He always adds something. He has tremendous work rate. The supporters have really taken him. They really appreciate what he has given. As each game goes on, he is getting better and better:tactically he has improved, physically he is very good, he can run and run and he is gaining confidence from playing with good players as well so he can make a lot of improvements and become a really top player."

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